Complaint Against Gural & Racetracks Dismissed
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
On Tuesday, December 28, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York granted a motion to dismiss a complaint filed by eight racehorse owners seeking to undo efforts by Jeff Gural and his Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and New Meadowlands Racetracks to prohibit horses associated with an indicted trainer from racing at his venues.
The eight owners were prohibited from participating at the tracks as a result of having horses that they owned in the care of indicted horse trainer Rene Allard, who has been accused of using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) on the horses that he trains.
The complaining owners chose to challenge Gural and his racetracks, alleging violations of federal antitrust laws and state competition laws.
Although the Court allowed the eight owners to bring their lawsuit under federal antitrust laws, in the end the Court dismissed their complaint for failing to identify a “relevant market”, a condition precedent to pursue a viable antitrust claim. The Court also chose not to assert jurisdiction over the state claims as further grounds to dismiss the complaint.
Gural has been vigilant in his quest to eradicate the drugs and those who use them from his tracks as part of his long-standing crusade to ban PEDs from the racing industry.
“Judge Kahn clearly saw that this antitrust theory has no legs and did the right thing by dismissing the whole case,” said Gural. He continued: “This lawsuit and its outcome have only reinforced my resolve to purge PEDs from our industry even if it means defending baseless lawsuits like this or initiating my own legal actions against those who pose obstacles to our efforts, should I have to. Our industry requires, in my view, owners to be beyond reproach and held accountable for the training decisions they make. “