Far Mo Power Connections Sue Over Decision To Deny Appeal Of Parx Dirt Mile DQ

Joseph Sutton and Louis Linder Jr., respective owner and trainer of Far Mo Power, have sued Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission executive Thomas Chuckas over his decision to deny an appeal hearing to reconsider the horse’s disqualification in a Sept. 24, 2022, stakes at Parx Racing.

Far Mo Power, a 12-1 longshot, finished first by a neck in the $200,000 Parx Dirt Mile Stakes on the Pennsylvania Derby day card at the Bensalem, Pa., track, but was disqualified by stewards for interfering with Mind Control, the 3-5 favorite owned by Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher. The Equibase chart shows that the two horses were engaged in a tight battle from the quarter pole to the wire, with Mind Control – ridden by John Velazquez – putting his head in front at the furlong pole and Far Mo Power rallying to prevail after drifting out and brushing his rival when hit left-handed with the whip by jockey Dexter Haddock.

According to the complaint filed by attorney Alan Pincus in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Linder “sought advice from the horseman’s group at Parx as to how to appeal pro se and was given a form prepared by the commission for such appeals.”

The form was notarized on Sept. 26 and submitted to the commission.

On Sept. 30, Chuckas, director of the Pennsylvania commission’s Thoroughbred bureau, issued an order denying a hearing based on the reasoning that Linder “failed to set forth in numbered paragraphs a concise statement of all the factual and legal grounds upon which the hearing was requested.”

The appeal form, on Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission letterhead, had four lines available for the appellant to state reasons for the appeal and suggested a blank paper may be used if more space is needed. Linder wrote “No Foul Occurred” in the space asking for reasons for filing the appeal

“This should appear concise to anyone,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint adds that, “Upon information and belief the commission has never rejected a hearing from anyone who used the commission’s form. Upon information and belief the commission has never rejected a hearing from anyone who failed to use numbered paragraphs.

“In all meaningful ways Linder’s appeal conformed to the relevant rules,” the complaint added, then provided information about a Sept. 29 ruling concerning trainer Juan Vazquez.

In that ruling, the complaint said, “The commission stated in a footnote ‘Appellant’s appeal failed to comply with 179.7(a) (1) of the commission’s regulations in that appellant failed to set forth a statement of all the factual and legal grounds upon which the hearing is requested. Nevertheless, in the interest of fairness, the commission granted the appeal in this matter and conducted a de novo hearing.’”

The complaint then added, “Thus somewhere between Sept. 29 and Sept. 30 the interests of fairness disappeared from the commission and were not considered in denying plaintiffs’ appeal.”

Chuckas’ actions were called “arbitrary and capricious and designed with the specific intent to deprive plaintiffs of their Due Process Rights.”

Plaintiffs are seeking a ruling to the effect that Chuckas deprived them of Due Process, an order requiring the commission to provide a hearing, and costs and disbursements including attorney’s fees.

 

The post Far Mo Power Connections Sue Over Decision To Deny Appeal Of Parx Dirt Mile DQ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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