Report: NYRA changes course, disallowing Hollendorfer horses

June 29, 2019 06:56pm

The New York Racing Association, having announced last Sunday that Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer could continue to run horses in state, has reversed that policy, according to a Daily Racing Form report.

DRF’s David Grening, citing both Hollendorfer and his attorney, reported Saturday that New York-based assistant Don Chatlos has taken out his trainers license and will run Hollendorfer’s horses in his name.

Hollendorfer was last weekend ruled off the grounds at The Stronach Group’s California properties, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, after a fourth horse from his barn suffered a catastrophic injury during what was a tumultuous season at Santa Anita.

Hollendorfer was also operating a small New York string overseen by Chatlos to accommodate runners for owner Larry Best, who campaigns under the OXO Equine banner.

Horse Racing Nation has sought comment from NYRA about its policy change.

NYRA's original announcement last weekend that Hollendorfer was approved for stalls at the upcoming Saratoga meet, adding that “NYRA will honor those agreements and he will be permitted to stable and enter horses at both Belmont and Saratoga.”

As in California, Hollendorfer does not have a ruling against him or active suspension in New York. Decisions to disallow him from running horses were made by private companies.

The Southern California circuit shifted to Los Alamitos beginning Saturday, and Hollendorfer is permitted to enter there. Del Mar, which opens July 17, has not announced its decision, and a track spokesman said Friday “the matter is still under review.”

Attorney Drew Couto, who’s representing Hollendorfer, told DRF that when it comes to Hollendorfer at non-Stronach tracks, “My sense would be a board and management would look at it as someone else has taken away from us the power to decide who can run at our meet.”

Earlier this week, Hollendorfer told Horse Racing Nation that most all of his top clients had stuck with him through this process, which ramped up following a June 21 CNN report that zeroed in on him as part of a problem at Santa Anita, where 30 horses perished as a result of injuries from Dec. 26-June 22, the morning Hollendorfer-trained American Currency pulled up at the beginning of a workout.

“I think CNN put on a pretty biased piece of information and tried to make it into a negative story instead of just reporting the facts,” Hollendorfer said.

Chatlos, according to Equibase, won 42 races from 337 starters during his previous training career, last saddling a horse in his name in 2008. His highest earner was the multiple graded stakes winner and 2004 Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Singletary.


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