06/07/2013 3:24PM

Hollywood Park: Voided claim contested


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Peter Miller is contesting the voided claim of Include the Cat here on June 2. Miller filed a complaint with the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday, alleging that state veterinarian Tim Grande had a “conflict of interest” when he placed the filly on the veterinarian’s list.

Since the board implemented a new rule in mid-May, track stewards have been required to void claims on horses who have died on the track or been found unsound after the race by state or track veterinarians. The new rule was approved by the racing board in February and enacted on May 16. Under the new rule, the new owner and trainer does not take possession of the claimed horse until it has cleared the test barn.

Include the Cat finished fourth in an optional claimer and was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Eric Guillot in a six-way shake. She was placed on the vet’s list after being observed in the test barn by Grande.

In his complaint, Miller wrote that Grande should not have had a role in deciding whether Include the Cat was unsound because he once worked as a private veterinarian for Guillot.

As a result of Grande’s decision, Include the Cat was returned to Miller and not transferred to Guillot.

In his complaint, Miller wrote that Grande’s “bias and prejudice should have kept him from being involved in the claim.”

In an interview in the stable area on Friday, Grande declined to discuss the case. He said he worked for Guillot from 2007 to 2009. He has been the state veterinarian since last July, and said he has done pre-race examinations for the racing board since January 2011.

Miller is seeking for Include the Cat to be transferred to Guillot. He acknowledged in an interview that the 6-year-old mare had “a sore foot.” He said there was “a possibility” that she could start again before end of the current meeting.

Since the rule was enacted, five claims have been voided at Hollywood Park, including Power of Nine, who finished second in a $25,000 claimer on Thursday and was vanned off.