After weeks of negotiations went nowhere, Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer went to court Thursday seeking an immediate temporary restraining order Del Mar in a bid to resume training horses at the track.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Ronald F. Frazier denied the request, but set a hearing for next Thursday on a preliminary injunction.
“The judge said he didn’t want to pass judgment right now because he wants more time to look at the case,” Hollendorfer said in a phone interview. “He didn’t want to make a hasty decision, so he put it off, but he didn’t say no.”
Hollendorfer was banned June 22 from Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields by the Stronach Group – which owns both tracks.
Four of Hollendorfer’s horses were among the 30 that died during Santa Anita’s trouble-plagued winter-spring season. Nine horses died during Golden Gate Fields’ winter-spring season — two reportedly were trained by Hollendorfer, although only one could be verified from multiple sources by The Chronicle.
Hollendorfer was approved to operate on the in-session Northern California summer fair circuit as well as Los Alamitos in Cypress (Orange County), whose summer meeting ended Sunday.
Photo: Paul Chinn / The Chronicle 2009
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But Del Mar, citing public relations concerns, denied stalls to him and wouldn’t accept his entries.
The California Thoroughbred Trainers joined in the complaint against Del Mar because, CTT lawyer Darrell Vienna wrote, the group and the track have “an agreement whereby Del Mar cannot discriminate against any CTT member in an arbitrary or capricious manner.”
Dan Ward, Hollendorfer’s long-time Southern California assistant, was approved by Del Mar, so any of the stable’s horses that run there now do so under Ward’s name. One such horse, King Jack, won Wednesday’s ninth race for owner Michael C. Stinson.
“He’s been one of the loyal ones, so we certainly appreciate him,” Hollendorfer said of Stinson.
Hollendorfer is still training the horses he has at Los Alamitos, which is open year-round, and at the State Fair. But once the fair circuit ends Aug. 11, the only training facility in Northern California will be Golden Gate Fields.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do then,” Hollendorfer said. “I let my lawyers handle all this. They’re taking it one step at a time. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a fast process.”
Briefly: Hollendorfer runs Wish You Were Here, whom he also owns, in Saturday’s $50,000-added California Governor’s Cup Handicap at the State Fair. The 7-5 morning-line favorite is Alliford Bay, who seeks to win the 6-furlong race for fillies and mares for the third straight year. Alliford Bay has won her past six starts on dirt – all in stakes – and is 7-for-8 on it overall. … Keeper Ofthe Stars, who set a course record of 1:40.55 for 1 1/16 miles in an allowance win June 9 at Golden Gate Fields, runs in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar. Hollendorfer previously trained the 3-year-old filly owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, but Jonathan Wong now has her. … Maximum Security, who was disqualified from victory in the Kentucky Derby, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
Larry Stumes covers horse racing for The Chronicle.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Judge-denies-Hollendorfer-request-postpones-14106388.php.