04/16/2015 10:51AM

Libel suit against Guillot likely headed to mediation


A lawsuit filed by owner Willis Horton and jockey Luis Saez alleging libel against trainer Eric Guillot is likely to go to mediation within the next 120 days, according to the attorney representing the plaintiffs and court documents.

The mediation was ordered by Magistrate Judge Randolph Treece during a conference call to discuss scheduling of the lawsuit on Wednesday. Mediation in civil cases is being tried in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York under a pilot program. Under the order, the mediation will occur prior to Aug. 28. 

Horton and Saez filed the lawsuit against Guillot last year, claiming that comments Guillot made to newspapers and officials with the New York State Gaming Commission following the 2013 Travers Stakes were libelous. Guillot told reporters that he believed Saez carried an electrical device when winning the Travers aboard Will Take Charge. Moreno, trained by Guillot, finished second in the race.

The comments by Guillot led to an investigation by the gaming commission, which found no evidence that Saez carried an electrical device in the race. Attorneys for Guillot have twice tried to get the suit dismissed, but judges have ruled in both instances to allow the suit to go forward.

Ernest Badway, who is representing Guillot in the case, did not return a phone call seeking comment.