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Wesley Ward files court motion to recover $903,274 from owner-breeder Ramsey

Royal Ascot regular Ken Ramsey in legal battle with trainers Ward and Mike Maker

Wesley Ward: filed a motion in court on Tuesday as he seeks to recover training bills
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Trainer Wesley Ward has filed a motion for summary judgment in Jessamine Circuit Court seeking to force owner-breeder Ken Ramsey to pay $903,274 in outstanding training bills.

Ward initially filed a suit on March 19 to recover the money. After that filing, Ramsey reportedly agreed to pay the trainer a minimum of $100,000 per month until the debt was paid, to give Ward all money from purses and claimed horses, and keep current on all monthly invoices, according to court documents.

Ramsey reportedly made miscellaneous payments to Ward from purses and money earned on claims along with one $100,000 payment in May, but has not made any monthly payments in June and July.

In an affidavit from Ward, he states his attorney, George Smith, contacted Ramsey about making the monthly payment for June and was told by Ramsey that he was in the process of selling property worth $1.5 million.

Ramsey reportedly told Smith, once the deal closed, then Ward would be paid in full. Ramsey also said the closing had been delayed and that he was seeking a bridge loan in order to keep up with the monthly payments.

Because no further monthly payments were made following that conversation, Ward proceeded to file for summary judgment, according to court documents.

Ward submitted with his affidavit a summary that shows he has 15 horses in training for Ramsey as of July and has had up to 39 horses for the owner since October of last year.

Ward also filed on July 6 for an agister's lien on all of Ramsey's horses in his care. This lien in essence gives ownership to Ward and prevents Ramsey from taking them. Ward filed his lien in Fayette County because the horses are stabled at Keenaland.

Ramsey is also being sued by trainer Mike Maker, who filed for summary judgment on July 14 in Fayette Circuit Court to recover $505,385 in unpaid bills. Maker has an August 13 hearing scheduled before Judge Julie Goodman.

In responses to both Ward's and Maker's suits, Ramsey has disputed the amounts the trainers claim they are owed. In Maker's case, the trainer included $96,586 in interest, which Ramsey's attorney has characterised as "unauthorised interest" because neither Ramsey nor his wife ever agreed to any particular interest rate or "finance charge" that could be applied to their invoices.

In his response to Ward's initial suit, Ramsey acknowledged only that he had horses in training with Ward and that he had made a $50,000 payment to Ward on or around March 15.

He categorically denied "each and every other allegation" made by Ward and asked for the suit to be dismissed.

The Ramseys - Ken and wife Sarah - have won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner four times, and the award for Outstanding Breeder twice, and are well known in Europe due to their regular appearances at Royal Ascot. 

They have had several runners at the meeting but a much-desired triumph has eluded them since their first foray in 2001. 

They have endured a couple of near-misses, with Steaming Home second in the Windsor Castle Stakes in that first venture, while Cannonball filled the same spot in the Golden Jubilee Stakes, as it was, in 2009. 

For all the latest North American racing and bloodstock news, visit Bloodhorse

Ramsey is also being sued by trainer Mike Maker, who filed for summary judgment on July 14 in Fayette Circuit Court to recover $505,385
E.W. Terms