California horse owner Jerry Jamgotchian on Wednesday sued the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and top officials, challenging a state rule on claiming horses.
Jamgotchian, in the lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court, said in a statement that his goal "is to seek the immediate rescission of the KHRC's claiming rule" because it "violates commerce clause provisions, as contained in the United States Constitution. This action was required because the KHRC refused to voluntarily rescind its illegal claiming rule and is using the board's enforcement power to shake down, threaten and harass Kentucky owners and trainers who want to race their claimed horses in other states."
Jamgotchian said in the suit that he claimed a horse named Rochitta at Churchill Downs on May 21 for $42,400; he wanted to run the horse at Presque Isle in Pennsylvania in June but was told he couldn't run outside Kentucky until after the Churchill spring meet ended July 4.
Jamgotchian is seeking to have that rule declared invalid; he successfully challenged a similar rule two years ago in California.