Trainer Alleges Racism at Los Alamitos
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - A race track owner who made racist statements about Hispanic immigrants and abortion, banned a Mexican-American horse trainer without a fair hearing before California's racing board, the trainer claims in court.
In a Superior Court lawsuit, Jose De La Torre claims Los Alamitos race track owner and breeder Edward Allred is his "direct competitor" and had no "statutory or regulatory authority" to evict him from the race track.
De La Torre claims that Allred warned him at a Dec. 21, 2013 meeting at Los Alamitos that if he tried to contest the eviction at the California Horse Racing Board, he would be banned for life, and that Allred would try to limit his participation at racetracks in New Mexico and Oklahoma.
De La Torre acknowledges that he faces pending complaints that he violates state restrictions on use of the muscle-building bronchodilator clenbuterol on racehorses. But he says his license is in good standing and that the racing board has not adjudicated the complaints.
"Allred has issued similar exclusion orders against at least ten other trainers of Hispanic ancestry," the complaint states, without making clear if those trainers are the subject of similar complaints.
At the root of De La Torre's discrimination claims is a 1980 interview with Allred, cited in the lawsuit. At that time, Allred was a physician and co-founder of Family Planning Associates Medical Group, one of the largest groups of privately owned abortion clinics in America.
Allred told the San Diego Union: "Population control is too important to be stopped by some right-wing pro-life types. Take the new influx of Hispanic immigrants. Their lack of respect for democracy and social order is frightening. I hope I can do something to stem that tide. I'd set up a clinic in Mexico for free if I could. Maybe one in Calexico would help. The survival of our society could be at stake."
Allred added: "When a sullen black woman of 17 or 18 can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to us all, it's time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles having babies for welfare is the only industry these people have."
Allred acknowledged in a 12-year-old interview with the Los Angeles Times that the statements appeared racist. He told a reporter: "That's just not the way I am." In that article, he expressed appreciation for Latinos who work at his race track.
De La Torre claims that only the racing board has the authority to evict him from the track. He says the board ignored his request for a hearing though it never issued an exclusion order confirming the eviction.
According to the lawsuit, Allred on Dec. 28 refused to allow the trainer to enter two eligible horses, "Chicks Special Agent" and "Zoomdasher," into races at Los Alamitos.
"As a result, De La Torre has forever lost these racing opportunities because of defendants' illegal conduct," the lawsuit states.
Named as defendants are Allred, Los Alamitos Quarter Horse Association, Horseman's Quarter Horse Association, California Horsing Racing Board and its official Jackie Wagner. De La Torre alleges discrimination, civil rights violations, constitutional violations, interference with prospective advantage, and other counts.
He seeks declaratory judgment, costs and damages, a stay on the eviction, an injunction and a hearing before the racing board.
He is represented by Carlo Fisco of Los Angeles.
California Racing Board spokesman Robert Miller declined to comment.
Los Alamitos race track did not immediately respond to requests for comment.