What is going on with the Crys Dream situation is certainly regrettable. It must be nice to have deep pockets to keep running to the courts. Instead of going after the NJRC, I would suggest ownesrhip deals with the ORC and try to get the situation addressed as quickly as possible. If they feel the need to go to court, that is where they should be going to, not New Jersey, as the root of their problems stem from the ORC’s decision to suspend the horse for 90 days.
It should be noted that I am a layman when it comes to the law. As for the current issue regarding the purse money from the Hambletonian Oaks, my suggestion would be to put the purse money in an escrow account controlled by the courts until either the ORC finds for Crys Dream’s ownership or the original lawsuit against the NJRC has had its day in court (remember, they only had a stay issued to allow them to race in New Jersey and it was not a ruling on the merits of the case. How is the ownership suffering from having the funds put into abeyance; the USTA can credit the earnings to the horse and can remove the earnings if the NJ courts eventually rule against the ownership?
I also don’t see why it is up to Frank Zanzuccki and the NJRC to clear Crys Dream’s ability to race in any other state. The ruling was to allow the horse to race in New Jersey and nothing more. If they seek to race in other states, they need to make their case to those states’ commissions or attempt to expedite the process in Ontario. If anything, Mr. Zanzuccki likely will report is the facts; the NJ Supreme Court issued a stay which required them to allow Crys Dream to race. Why no legal expert, I believe a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling only has enforcement power in New Jersey, it does not have any legal standing in another state.
The Crys Dream team has the right to go to court, but I am troubled by their arguments they made in New Jersey. I have no problem with their argument of lack of due process, but I have a real problem with their argument that the NJRC is not allowed to enforce a suspension from a foreign (Canada) country. If the courts find for the plaintiffs (fortunately, it would only apply to New Jersey unless a federal court got involved), drivers and owners suspended or with revoked licenses could race in New Jersey and anyone banned from New Jersey could just head to Canada and continue with their career).
If as Crys Dream’s ownership indicates, the positive was truly an environmental contamination, I feel sorry for the ownership team. They will have their chance to make their arguments in Ontario on that. I don’t doubt their word, but what if it turns out the positive was not environmental? My suggestion would be for the Ontario Racing Commission to modify their ninety day suspension rule so if a person is contesting the charges, the horse would be allowed to race during this ninety day period with all purse winnings being held in escrow until the case is finally resolved. If the case is found for the ownership team, the purse money would be released to the ownership team. If the case is ultimately decided against the ownership team, the purse funds would be redistributed. This way, the rights of all are protected.