SAN DIEGO (CN) – San Luis Rey Downs claims a thoroughbred stabling fund paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to race associations not approved by the California Horse Racing Board, some of which are “mere shells and shams.”
The San Luis Rey Downs Thoroughbred Training Center claims the California Horse Racing Board, Southern California Off-Track Wagering and other defendants allowed or received payments from a fund though some recipients were “mere shells and shams” that did not qualify for the money.
Defendants include Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Los Angeles Turf Club, Hollywood Park Racing Association, Oak Tree Racing Association, and Los Angeles County Fair Racing Association dba Fairplex Park.
The Superior Court complaint claims the defendant race associations did not meet requirements of the thoroughbred horse stabling and transportation fund program, which was intended for “paying back the racing association and fairs the costs they actually incur for offsite stalls located at CHRB-approved training facilities because the racing associations or fair did not have onsite a sufficient number of useable stalls necessary to conduct the race meeting.”
The fund is built up from 1.25 percent of the “total amount handled by all satellite wagering facilities in the central and southern zones of California,” according to the complaint.
The San Luis Rey Downs, of Bonsall, claims Southern California Off-Track Wagering Inc. and Southern California Off-Track Wagering Ltd. were “mere shells and shams without adequate capital or assets at the time of their respective formation,” and were “operated by entities which are not thoroughbred racing associations, fairs conducting thoroughbred racing and the organization representing thoroughbred horsemen.”
The Southern California Off-Track Wagering defendants and the Thoroughbred Owners of California distributed money to Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park, Fairplex Park, and others, although they are not “a race association or fair conducting a race meeting in the central or southern zones,” according to the complaint.
San Luis Rey Downs claims the defendants have received up to $18,000 per day “under the guise and sham of reimbursing those defendants for their direct incremental costs they purported to incur while providing offsite stalls during thoroughbred race meetings conducted in central and southern zones.”
The defendants used the money as a “means of generating unlawful profits, paying operating expenses, and most importantly, as a means of soliciting and attracting thoroughbred trainers for the stabling of thoroughbred horses by offering free stalls, regardless of whether or not the stabled horses were race ready,” the complaint claims.
Since San Luis Rey Downs did not benefit from the fund, it says it had to charge thoroughbred horsemen and horsewomen a daily rate of $7.70 to $10 per horse per stall, and “cannot fairly compete and cannot offer free stalls in order to attract and solicit thoroughbred horse trainers and owners for the stabling of their thoroughbreds under their care.”
It seeks a temporary restraining order to stop defendants from receiving more money from the fund, disgorgement, and $950,000 in damages.
San Luis Rey Downs is represented by Kevin Carey and Patrick Webb with Webb & Carey.