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American Pharoah shares secretly sold; racehorse owner Zayat sued for $23 million

Prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder Ahmed Zayat is back in legal trouble, this time involving breeding rights to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. At an emergency hearing on Wednesday, Fayette County Judge Kim Bunnell granted a motion ordering a receiver to seize control of Zayat Stables, including its horses.
 
The move came after a New York investment group filed a lawsuit in Lexington this week seeking at least $23 million dollars from Zayat, accusing him of selling breeding shares to 2015 Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup winner American Pharoah that were being used for collateral on outstanding debts.
 
Zayat and Zayat Stables are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Fayette County Circuit Court by MGG Investment Group, a New York-based investment firm, according to court records.
 
 
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