03/07/2013 1:27PM

Veitch petition denied by Kentucky judge in Life At Ten proceeding


A Kentucky circuit court judge has denied a petition by former Kentucky chief state steward John Veitch to depose a member of the racing commission as part of an effort to reopen an investigation into the 2010 Life At Ten incident.

In a short ruling issued March 5, Judge Thomas Wingate of the Franklin Circuit Court said that courts have the power to allow depositions in matters pending appeal, but only in regards to “perpetuating testimony that may otherwise be immediately lost absent deposition.”

Wingate said that Veitch’s specific request to depose commissioner Tom Conway did not satisfy this condition and that Veitch was “more interested in conducting discovery than preserving testimony.”

In the motion, Veitch’s attorney had argued that a hearing officer preparing a report on the Life At Ten incident had left out information that may have influenced the commission’s unanimous vote to suspend Veitch for a year for his role in the incident. Veitch was fired several months before the commission voted to accept the report’s recommendations.

Veitch has appealed the commission’s decision. The commission ruled that Veitch violated several racing statutes when he failed to order veterinarians to conduct an examination of Life At Ten after her jockey told national television broadcasters that the filly “was not warming up like she normally does” just before the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Life At Ten finished last in the race after never being urged.