The following press release was distributed to media by Darrell Vienna, the attorney representing owner Mick Ruis, on Monday evening:
On January 13, 2019, Mick Ruis, whose horse, Bolt d'Oro, finished second in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby, filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court asking for a writ ordering the California Horse Racing Board to set aside its decision to dismiss Santa Anita Derby winner Justify's positive test in the Santa Anita Derby and to order disqualification of Justify with a redistribution of the purse.
“As an owner and trainer, I trusted the CHRB to follow its own rules and provide a hearing of the Justify matter,” said Ruis. “Instead, the CHRB has refused to provide me with any recourse. I would never have gone to court if the CHRB had simply followed its own rules. Instead, I have no other choice for myself and for every owner, no matter how big or small, to make sure that everyone is treated respectfully, fairly, and equally.”
One of the top international news stories in the horse racing industry in 2018 was the Triple Crown victory of Justify. Justify began his Triple Crown pursuit by winning the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita on April 7, 2018.
What the international racing community did not know was that a prohibited substance, scopolamine, was detected in the official urine sample collected from Justify after the $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derby. The public did not learn of this positive test because the CHRB decided to keep it secret. Rather than following its standard procedures meant to ensure transparency and integrity, the CHRB decided in a secretive, closed session of its Board, to dismiss the matter against Justify and his trainer Bob Baffert.
The public did not learn of the drug positive for over a year until September, 2019, when the CHRB coverup was exposed in a New York Times Article.
Ruis' repeated attempts to have the CHRB publicly address this matter were formally rejected on December 20, 2019, in a letter on behalf of the CHRB from CHRB Counsel, Robert Brodnik.
You can read a full copy of the petition here.
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