The only fact owner/breeder Ken Ramsey will concede in his business relationship with trainer Mike Maker is that Maker trained racehorses for him, according to a court document filed July 28 in Fayette (Kentucky) Circuit Court.
Maker has sued Ramsey seeking to recover $505,385 in allegedly delinquent training fees. Maker initiated his suit March 12 alleging that Ramsey owed $905,357 and soon after the owner reportedly agreed to pay $100,000 monthly toward the debt. Several payments were reportedly made from March through May.
When payments stopped in June and July, Maker's attorney Tyler Powell, with the firm Frost Brown Todd, filed a motion for summary judgment July 14 asking Circuit Court Judge Julie Goodman to compel Ramsey to pay the balance, according to court documents.
A hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 13.
In Maker's motion, Powell requests a summary judgment because "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact." In an accompanying affidavit, Maker claims Ramsey has acknowledged the debt both in conversations with him and in media interviews.
Ramsey, in his response filed by attorney Mike Meuser, with Miller, Griffin & Marks, argues there are many facts in dispute.
"The Plaintiff seeks a judgment based on nothing more than his affidavit, a few online articles, and the documents attached to his complaint, and erroneously states that the Defendant's answer does not dispute any material facts as to liability," Ramsey's response states. "No discovery has taken place. Further, the Defendants admit only that the Plaintiff trained certain of their horses; nowhere within their answer do they admit the accuracy of the amount the Plaintiff claims to be due."
Ramsey's response notes that statements to media outlets are not binding judicial admissions and that summary judgment is proper only after discovery, which is the formal exchange of information about witnesses and evidence, is complete.
In dispute, for example, is Maker's request for fees owed plus interest and attorney's fees or cost of litigation.
Ramsey's response notes that neither he nor his wife ever agreed to a particular interest rate or "finance charge" that could be applied to their invoices, and so he disputes $96,586 in "unauthorized interest" that appears on copies of invoices Maker submitted to the court.
Also in dispute is the value of two Magna Wave therapy machines that the Ramseys gave to Maker to use on their horses. Ramsey claims the machines, valued at $18,685, have not been returned and are in Barbados, where the Ramseys have occasionally sent Maker-trained horses to compete.
Any amount awarded to Maker by the court would have to exclude the interest charges and the value of the Magna Wave machines, according to Ramsey's response.
Regarding attorney's fees, Ramsey's response cites a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that states attorney's fees are not awarded as costs to a prevailing party unless a statute permits it or as a term of a contractual agreement between the parties involved.
Ramsey also has an ongoing lawsuit for alleged delinquent training fees totaling $974,790 with trainer Wesley Ward. The owner has disputed the amount owed in this case, too.