A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday denied Fifth Third Bank's move to block Thoroughbred owner Ahmed Zayat's continued use of cash collateral to run his stable, which includes top Kentucky Derby contender Eskendereya.
Judge Donald H. Steckroth found that Zayat had not defaulted by withdrawing four horses from a 2-year-old sale at Keeneland. The bank contended Zayat violated the terms by taking the horses out of the sale without the bank's consent; Zayat countered that he withdrew the horses because they either weren't ready or have shown promise as racehorses.
Zayat plans to file a reorganization plan by the end of the week; if approved, his stable could emerge from bankruptcy shortly.
Eskendereya is due to arrive at Churchill Downs next week for the May 1 Derby.