07/17/2007 12:00AM

Reddam files suit vs. Ramsey

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J. Paul Reddam, a California horse owner, has sued owner Kenneth Ramsey and trainer Dale Romans, alleging that the pair conspired to conceal injuries to a horse Reddam bought from Ramsey in the summer of 2005 for $600,000.

The lawsuit, which was filed last year and is scheduled for a first trial date on Monday in Orange County Superior Court in California, claims that the horse, Big Picture, was administered several painkillers before a veterinary examination by a representative of Reddam on July 10, 2005. As a result of the administration of the painkillers, the lawsuit alleges, Reddam's veterinary representative was unable to detect lameness that would have affected Reddam's decision to buy the horse.

Big Picture, who was owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Ramsey Farm, won a maiden race in his first start on June 25, 2005, at Churchill Downs. According to the lawsuit, an agent for the Ramseys contacted Reddam's agent two days after the race to inquire whether Reddam would be interested in purchasing the horse.

Following the sale, the lawsuit says, Big Picture was shipped to trainer Doug O'Neill in Southern California. The horse exhibited soreness when immediately exercised, the lawsuit claims, which led O'Neill and Reddam to send blood samples for drug tests to the Equine Analytical Laboratory at the University of California at Davis. According to documents attached to the lawsuit, Big Picture tested positive for phenylbutazone and flunixin, two painkillers.

Michael Meuser, a Lexington, Ky., attorney who is representing the Ramseys, did not respond to a phone call or e-mail message on Tuesday. A representative in his office said Meuser was scheduled to be in depositions all day.

Dan Baren, an attorney for Reddam, said that he expected the case to go to court.

"We offered them a settlement, but they haven't gotten back to us," Baren said. The lawsuit is seeking the $600,000 that Reddam paid for the horse plus punitive damages.

Reddam is the owner of CashCall, a loan service company based in Fountain Valley, Calif. He owns approximately 50 horses.