04/20/2005 12:00AM

Bettor files lawsuit over losing wager in S.A. Derby


A man who bet on Sweet Catomine in the Santa Anita Derby on April 9 filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday alleging that Santa Anita, owner Marty Wygod, and trainer Julio Canani committed fraud by not disclosing the filly's condition before the race.

Arthur Mota filed the suit, seeking unspecified damages.

Sweet Catomine finished fifth in the Santa Anita Derby as the favorite. On April 3, she bled in a workout at Santa Anita and was subsequently taken from Santa Anita to an equine clinic in Los Olivos, Calif., to be treated for bleeding.

The bleeding incident and her absence from Santa Anita were not disclosed to the public until after the race.

Mota's lawsuit has a provision for others to join the suit, and could gain class action status.

Sweet Catomine's loss has already gained the attention of the California Horse Racing Board, which has filed complaints against Wygod, Canani, and a van driver, Dean Kerkhoff. Wygod and Kerkhoff are scheduled to appear before Hollywood Park stewards on Saturday.