Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has been denied permission to race his horses at Santa Anita Park in the current meeting after a ruling by an L.A. County Superior Court judge.
The Stronach Group banned Hollendorfer from racing at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, and all its tracks, after four of his horses died this year at Santa Anita and two at Golden Gate.
A restraining order, requested by Hollendorfer, would have enabled the trainer to race at Santa Anita. But on Thursday, in a five-paragraph opinion on the request, Judge Mary Strobel said she did not believe this was an emergency situation necessitating a restraining order and questioned whether all administrative remedies had been exhausted.
She suggested that Hollendorfer could file for a preliminary injunction, according to Drew Couto, the trainer’s attorney. Couto said no final decision had been made but that he would likely file for an expedited hearing that could potentially allow Hollendorfer to return to Santa Anita before the winter/spring meeting, which starts Dec. 26.
It’s still unclear whether Hollendorfer will be allowed to run horses at Santa Anita during the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1-2. Those races are controlled by the Breeders’ Cup and not by Santa Anita.
“The Breeders’ Cup does not comment on the status of potential 2019 world championship entries,” Breeders’ Cup spokesman Jim Gluckson said.
“We are gratified that the Los Angeles County Superior Court has permitted our exclusion of Jerry Hollendorfer from Santa Anita Park to remain effective, just as the Alameda County Superior Court did last month with respect to his exclusion from Golden Gate Fields,” said Richard Specter, an attorney for TSG. “The Stronach Group remains committed to making horse racing as safe as possible for both the horses and jockeys at its facilities.”
Hollendorfer won a restraining order in a San Diego court allowing him to race at Del Mar. He can also race on the California Fair circuit and at Los Alamitos.
“You pick a circuit outside of TSG, and he’s being recruited to set up his base of operations there,” Couto said.
“After Jerry won the TRO [in San Diego], he stood in front of the press and said, ‘If there is something I can do differently, I’m all ears. I’m listening and I’ll embrace.’ He made that same representation to Santa Anita. He said, ‘If there is something I can do differently, I will.’ So far, they have told him nothing.”
Hollendorfer was banned from TSG tracks on June 22.