07/03/2012 2:51PM

Canani and Licht must pay damages to owner, jury rules


A California jury has awarded $48,750 in actual damages and $50,000 in punitive damages to horse owner Jeffrey Nielsen of Minnesota stemming from a 2009 lawsuit against trainer Julio Canani and horse owner Roger Licht for the sale of some of Nielsen’s California-based horses in 2008.

The suit alleged that Canani convinced Nielsen to sell horses at low prices, and then turned around and resold them for higher values.

The ruling was released on June 28. The decision was first reported by Paulickreport.com.

Nielsen, who has raced such horses as the multiple stakes winners Island Fashion and Petionville, had sought $1 milllion in damages. The case was heard by a mediator but an agreement between the parties was not reached, leading to the jury trial.

The case focused primarily on Canani’s role as an agent for Nielsen’s Everest Stables in the sale of several horses. The jury ruled that Canani misrepresented details of the physical condition and values of the horses and told Nielsen that the horses were being sold to another party when Canani bought them himself and then sold them to others for a profit.

The suit alleged that Licht, a former chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, was a partner with Canani on the sale of some horses.

One juror told the Paulick Report that suggested damages in deliberations ranged from zero to $371,000.

Of the actual damages, Licht on Tuesday said that he is liable for only $1,562, and has asked judge Dale Fischer to set aside his liability in the punitive damages, approximately $12,500, citing a California Supreme Court ruling that states that punitive damages cannot be higher than actual damages.

The jury ruled that Canani must pay the balance of the actual damages, $47,188.

Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
This has now degenerated into a rather mean-spirited assault upon Julio Canani, and I'd like to remind people that, on the racetrack, we live in a very perfidious and fragile environment, and what goes around invariably comes back in spades. When I hear people say what happy communities backstretches are and what splendid people racetrackers are, I'm amazed because in reality there exists great jealousy and an altogether cruel satisfaction in seeing people struggle. As an example...some years ago Bill Marko was a leading trainer on the Ontario circuit. Bill was brash...smoking cigars and driving Cadilacs when he was training Frost King and Deputy Minister (early on)...yet things went bad and, to keep afloat, Bill pulled the old Bialystok move from The Producers (selling 500% of horses to unwitting clients)...something made famous in England by the infamous Kenny ' Window ' Payne back in the '60s....and Bill was summarily dumped. After trying to hang himself in the shedrow, his decline was awful to behold, as he haunted the track kitchen. Some people felt sorry and bought him his meals...but others ground him into the dust, even refusing to give him lifts. My point is that racing has always had characters like Julio and Bill and always will...they're the Runyonesque/Dick Francis fabric of the game. Scorn, though, should be reserved for the big fish at the top who rip people off every day...for they are the people who are ruining our dear sport.
Tim UTLEY More than 1 year ago
Julio is a bum a desgrance to Horse Racing, did you ever see what this guy wears to the winner circle picture. Canani is know drugging cheat. Hey Julio just go the F**K away already. I'm so happy you got hit with that Judgement, it should been for more.
Jack More than 1 year ago
I saw Julio and Bernie Madoff, down by the School Yard.............
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
He should be banned 10 years.
Chad Wilson More than 1 year ago
What Canani did is wrong, and there is a reason he has less and less good horses in his stable, but these owners like Nielsen and Sanan are fools. Most of these millionaires made their money at the expense of others but when someone makes money on them they hire attorneys. If you buy or sell a horse and get a price you feel is fair, move on, but these guys find out someone else made a buck at their expense and sue. Jess Jackson hired attorneys and sued. One set suit was because he found out he paid more for a farm than it was listed on the market 6 months prior and someone on his payroll got a kickback?? if you are too stupid to research a million dollar purchase to learn it was on the market prior to your purchase for less you deserve to lose money
John More than 1 year ago
Agree 100% with your take on this
James More than 1 year ago
Your reasoning is flawed. Even if these people did make their fortunes at someone else's expense...two wrongs don't make a right. No one deserves to lose money by being swindled. And no one deserves to profit by misleading other people into making bad financial decisions.
John More than 1 year ago
When their thinking was that they were selling damaged goods to someone else they were okay with the deal. I would have loved to hear the conversation when Julio misrepresented the details of the physical condition.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
There is a big problem for horse "dealing and wheeling" called pinhooking and it has gone on for years where someboday ended up getting the short end of the stick. There simply isn't a fix to this kind of problem where the structural mechanism is for an agent to get a percentage of the purchase or selling price of a horse, say, 5%. An agent would want to purchase or sell a horse with a higher price possible in order to make more money and thus conflicting of interest arises but tough to proof in the court of law. This case was a much more clear cut than thousands of cases that has been going on on a regularly basis. Toug problem to solve and tough luck for those at the receiving end of the stick.
marge hauer More than 1 year ago
Paul, What is pinhooking? Is it legal?
Dawood K More than 1 year ago
Has anyone seen J Cannani the way he walks around during the races at santa anita race track ? Right after a few races you can see him strolling out from the club house towards the bar in the grandstand. Pathetically he is looking for his regular buddy's who sit at the same table across the bar. One of them is Kenny Black. Yes, they all sit there and try to figure out the rest of the card with what ever money they have left amongst them. This goes on everyday at the live meet at SA. They all seem to be broke just after a few races. Pathetic crook J C. He is like cancer for the owners and the rest of the fellows at the Kibbutz, I meant the southern cal tracks. Jeneane Sahadi could probably describe this fellow better than Nick, believe me. I've known this guy since 1970, He looked like a crook then and he looks worse now on his last leg. I doubt he will have enough guys to carry him off after his last service.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Kenny Black was a better rider stone drunk than most of the guys riding now. JMO
Phil Bumgardner More than 1 year ago
That's why he was overweight a good portion of his career. He was a very good rider though.
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Good luck to you - this how Churchill Downs dealt with me, they placed myself and all my horses on the stewards list - violating their own house rules and regulations to eliminate me - refer to my blog www.conspiredcorruption.wordpress.com - this is a letter that I wrote to Robert Evans http://conspiredcorruption.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/letter-bill-of-sale.pdf
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR THESE CROOKS,and then we wonder why racing is so crooked in the states,just look at the people involved.
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Well said Ray, this is a letter I landed up drafting to Churchill downs, Robert Evans http://conspiredcorruption.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/letter-bill-of-sale.pdf
Gee More than 1 year ago
No wonder son Nick stays clear of him. "Luck" stupidist show ever!!!!