Racing jurisdictions around the globe should watch closely the proceedings of a lawsuit filed recently in Pennsylvania, writes Joe Gorajec, former executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.
At Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, Gorajec looks at the federal suit against Thomas Chuckas, Thoroughbred bureau director of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission. The plaintiffs are four owners and trainers who were suspended in November over their failure to provide documents sought by the commission in a subpoena exploring possible hidden ownership and program training.
In January, a judge issued a stay of the suspensions and said the commission overstepped its bounds by suspending licenses without accusing the trainers of specific wrongdoing.
Gorajec writes: “One finding in Judge Leavitt's decision does not bode well for the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission. In a signal of what her final decision may be, she said that the horsemen had made “a substantial case on the merits”.
It is an understatement to refer to this particular language as an embarrassment for the Commission.
These horsemen are back racing, but damage, both financial and to their reputation, has already been done. These horsemen had been suspended for over two months, unable to earn a living, based on suspensions that, apparently, should have never been issued.”
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