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Fun With Litigation

With the (somewhat diminished) Blue Grass Stakes fast approaching, there are the predictable articles painting it as a face-off between Great Hunter and Street Sense and indeed they are certainly the headliners (although I continue to have a soft spot for Teuflesberg, now to be ridden by Edgar Prado, and Dominican is one to watch as well). I won’t comment on the entry of Love Dubai after last week’s Illinois Derby debacle as others have already summed that up very well indeed.

Perhaps more interesting than the usual pre-race storylines are those surrounding the latest twists and turns in Great Hunter’s ownership. The latest installment in the saga took place yesterday:

The latest salvo came yesterday, when Fifth Third sent Keeneland a letter requesting the track not pay out any purse money Great Hunter might earn in tomorrow’s Grade I race because of the dispute, said Reddam attorney Dan Baren.

In response, Reddam’s attorney fired back:

“We believe that that’s a violation” of the temporary restraining order, Baren said. That California order prevents the bank from attempting to take possession of Great Hunter or from doing anything to stop him from racing.

Meanwhile, back at the bank:

Fifth Third Bank, according to Reddam’s attorneys, had said that it was negotiating with two parties to sell its alleged interest in Great Hunter, and that the buyer will take steps to take possession of the colt.

And another interesting tidbit about his ‘missing’ former owners from the same article here:

The Whetstones, who formerly lived in a 17-room home in The Champions in northern Jessamine County, have denied the allegations in court papers. They now live in Lexington.

If they’re living in Lexington, why is the bank finding it so difficult to track them down? It’s not a very large city, and I could probably do it for them in about 20 minutes just by calling a few friends there. Can I have a share in Great Hunter for that?

While the legal bills mount, at least Great Hunter’s local roots are not in dispute — although they might be considered nearly as convoluted:

Zenith [Great Hunter’s dam] had been owned in her racing days by Rick Porter, now the owner of Hard Spun, another leading Kentucky Derby prospect. Zenith was trained by John Servis of Smarty Jones fame. Hard Spun was bred at Elizabeth Moran and her son Michael’s Brushwood Stable in Malvern.

Got that?

Let’s not forget the other weekend Derby prep feature – Curlin and Officer Rocket are also facing off in the Arkansas Derby.

Outside the Derby prep world, Showing Up is due to run today in the Maker’s Mark; I’ll go with him and Purim as the 1-2 finishers. Wait a While runs Saturday in the Jenny Wiley, once again facing off against Precious Kitten. It’s good to have a rivalry.

Update: The Great Hunter situation just gets messier

3 comments to Fun With Litigation

  • london calling

    The litigation is fascinating, not to mention Fifth-Third’s sheer … audacity.
    I love this site. Entertaining and informative. Well done.

  • Superfecta

    Many thanks – Clash fans are always welcome here!

  • london calling

    that’s actually my horse’s name – named him after the clash album 🙂

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