07/16/2009 11:00PM

Court orders horse out of training


A Kentucky judge has ruled that language in a private sales contract defining a transaction as "for breeding purposes only" means exactly that.

Kentucky Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Isaacs, in a ruling signed July 9, has ordered Triton Farms, which is owned by George Hofmeister, immediately and permanently to take the 5-year-old horse Sam P out of training, in response to a request for an injunction filed by the colt's previous owner, Starlight Stables. In the ruling, Isaacs pointed to language in the sales contract that said both parties "agree and acknowledge that the buyer is acquiring the colt solely for breeding purposes only."

Isaacs wrote, "There is nothing ambiguous in any of the language in this contract cited by the court," adding, "There is nothing in this contract to indicate that the purchaser had the right to ignore the clear language of this contract and put the horse in training."

According to Starlight, Sam P suffered a serious tendon injury in late 2008. Veterinarians advised Starlight that the injury was career-ending. The stable reached the agreement to sell the colt to Triton Stables for $25,000 in early 2009, but, according to the suit, Starlight learned that Sam P had returned to training in April of this year.

Sam P is by Storm Cat out of the Affirmed mare Affirmed Legacy. He finished third in the 2007 Santa Anita Derby and ninth in that year's Kentucky Derby. Starlight said it included the "breeding purposes only" language in the contract to ensure that the horse did not run a risk of reinjuring the tendon while racing.