Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Asks Judge to Set Aside Lasix Ruling

POSTED ON  |  24-06-2020

Attorneys for the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have requested a circuit court judge "vacate and set aside" his June 1 ruling dismissing the horsemen's organization's lawsuit seeking to block two racetracks from enacting rules to prohibit race-day use of Lasix in 2-year-olds.

In his ruling, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the KHBPA lacked standing to bring the lawsuit and "has failed to set forth some actual or imminent injury to at least one individual member. The complaint fails to contain a single allegation that a member of the KHBPA was unable to run a horse due to Churchill and Keeneland electing to adopt 810 KAR 8:050 as a condition for 2-year-old races."

The Kentucky HBPA sued Churchill Downs, Keeneland, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission over the tracks' implementation of the race conditions precluding Lasix use in races for juveniles. Churchill has been running 2-year-old races with the rule in effect, and Keeneland plans to also prohibit the use of the medication in such races during its rescheduled spring meet in July and its fall meet that will include the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

"The Court's dismissal in this case should be vacated and set aside," states the motion. "That dismissal was based on a finding that the KHBPA lacks standing to represent its members in challenging the validity of a medication regulation and the acts of the Defendants to ban Furosemide ("Lasix") in 2-year-olds racing at Churchill Downs and Keeneland. This finding was erroneous, procedurally premature, and based on an incomplete record.

"Perhaps most importantly to KHBPA, this finding threatens profound consequences to KHBPA as a precedent about its standing to represent and advocate for the interests of its members moving forward in other potential cases."

The KHBPA filing notes that Wingate's decision came during a hearing on the organization's motion for a temporary injunction that would allow owners and trainers to race 2-year-olds without the bans being enforced until the matter could be decided on the merits.

"This hearing was not scheduled to consider any motion to dismiss because no such motion had been filed," the court filing states. "Standing had not been raised. Because the matter was set for a remote hearing, rather than an in-person hearing at which testimony might be provided, KHBPA filed two affidavits in support of the Motion for a Temporary Injunction on Tuesday, May 26.

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