LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Clark Brewster, attorney for Bob Baffert in his federal case against Churchill Downs and its top executives, filed a motion to have Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings disqualified from the case.
In a motion to disqualify filed Friday, Baffert’s attorney argues that Jennings failed to disclose that her husband works for a lobbying firm that represents The Jockey Club, of which co-defendant Churchill Downs chairman Alex Rankin is a steward. The Jockey Club, as well, filed an amicus brief against Baffert’s position as he sought to overturn a ban imposed by the New York Racing Authority last year.
The motion — which represents only one side of the story — comes days after Jennings warned Brewster, in part, “any future conduct implicitly threatening the Court, attempting to create or fabricate a situation suggesting recusal … will not be tolerated and may result in a show cause hearing and disciplinary action.”
Jennings’ husband, Friday’s motion argues, is managing partner of Commonwealth Alliances, which the motion says represents The Jockey Club.
“The Jockey Club has intervened publicly and litigiously in the litigation surrounding the Bob Baffert/Medina Spirit matter sine the beginning … ” the motion argues. “Judge Jennings has failed to disclose that she receives marital income from the lobbying efforts of her husband, Patrick Jennings, a lobbyist for The Jockey Club. Such facts … would clearly cause a reasonable person to believe the judge has a personal bias against the moving party.”
Baffert is seeking an injunction against the ban issued by Churchill Downs last year that would effectively bar any horses trained by him from accumulating points to qualify for this year’s Kentucky Derby. Brewster has argued that Churchill is acting in concert with the state of Kentucky, and therefore owed Baffert more due process