KINGSTON, Jamaica – Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer can return to stabling and racing horses at Del Mar, a judge ruled Friday.
Judge Ronald F. Frazier of the San Diego Superior Court granted Hollendorfer a preliminary injunction, striking down Del Mar’s ban of the trainer from running or stabling horses at the Southern California track.
“I guess I can go back to work,” Hollendorfer said after the court decision. “I’m very grateful the judge ruled in our favour.”
Frazier’s official ruling came one day after the judge filed a tentative ruling that said, “there is not sufficient evidence for the court to conclude (Del Mar) will suffer any harm by issuance of an injunction.”
The track in written statements by its attorney and president have argued that allowing Hollendorfer to remain active there is a public relations risk to its private business.
Frazier wrote that the track can’t deny Hollendorfer’s stall applications “until fair procedure can be completed.”
Hollendorfer had the California Thoroughbred Trainers join him in a July 15 complaint that requested a restraining order allowing him to operate at Del Mar.
Last month, The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, banned him from the grounds after four of his horses died as a result of injuries in racing and training at Santa Anita since Dec. 26.
“There is evidence (Del Mar) did indeed arbitrarily deny Mr Hollendorfer's stall application without first providing him fair procedure,” Frazier’s tentative ruling from Thursday read. “Accordingly, the court finds there is adequate evidence to conclude Plaintiffs have a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on the merits, as to their claims for declaratory relief and breach of contract.”