Del Mar Racetrack Grandstand. Photo courtesy of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Citing a lack of time to review recently filed court papers, a San Diego Superior Court judge Thursday tentatively denied a temporary restraining order sought by Hall of Fame horse trainer Jerry Hollendorfer against the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which banned Hollendorfer from participation in the wake of a spate of horse deaths.

Hollendorfer, 73, was banned last month from Del Mar and has sought the courts’ intervention to allow him to participate at this summer’s racing season.

Judge Ronald F. Frazier denied the request for a temporary restraining order without prejudice, telling attorneys on both sides that he was” reluctant to make a rash decision” regarding Hollendorfer’s request, which was filed with the court on Monday.

“These are not garden variety issues,” Frazier said prior to denying the order.

Another hearing was scheduled for July 26 in Frazier’s courtroom.

Hollendorfer argues in court papers that Del Mar officials have not provided an adequate reason for precluding him from racing. The complaint alleges that he was notified on June 28 that he wouldn’t be assigned stalls because of “PR risks and considerations.”

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has not commented publicly on Hollendorfer’s situation. Hollendorfer has also been banned by the Stronach Group, which owns the Santa Anita racetrack, as well as the New York Racing Association.

Thirty horses died at Santa Anita during its most recent meet that started in late December and ended in late June. Four of the those horses were under Hollendorfer’s care.

The case comes just as two more horses died at the Del Mar racetrack Thursday morning.

The two thoroughbreds collided during a training session, killing them and injuring jockey Assael Espinoza, who was hospitalized with a bruised lower back, according to Del Mar officials.

Another jockey, Geovanni Franco, was thrown from one of the horses involved in the accident, but was uninjured.

–City News Service

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