Pioneerof The Nile: the 2009 Santa Anita Derby raced for Zayat StablesPICTURE: GETTY IMAGES
Zayat Stables files for bankruptcy
PROMINENT US racehorse owner Ahmed Zayat has filed for bankruptcy for Zayat Stables, which owns more than 200 horses.
Zayat said the legal move is designed to protect his horse operation from efforts by Fifth Third Bank to have a receiver appointed to oversee Zayat Stables, according to Bloodhorse. He also said that he will make sure that all bills related to the stable, including paymentsto trainers, suppliers and farms will be paid.
Zayat's business plan remains unchanged, in that he intends to continue to operate at the highest level with top trainers, with the goal of winning the Kentucky Derby.
Fifth Third has filed suit against Zayat seeking payment on more than $34 million in loans. Zayat has filed a counterclaim against Fifth Third in which he alleges the bank's officers engaged in "misleading, deceptive, and predatory practices" that have "positioned Zayat Stables for financial ruin."
A hearing on Fifth Third's request for a receiver is scheduled in Lexington for Feb 8 before United States District Court Judge Karen Caldwell.
Zayathas contended that appointment of a receiver is not necessary because the bank has failed to show that the horses' care is being neglected or that he is not paying for their care.
Zayat Stables provided statements from its trainers and farms where its horses are maintained, attesting that the bills were current and that the horses' care had not been compromised.