'Ruffian' lawsuit stays at gate


Plaintiffs who filed a preliminary injunction against the Walt Disney Co. on Monday over the ABC/ ESPN original telefilm "Ruffian" are deferring their lawsuit.

The attorney for Jacinto Vasquez and Frank Whiteley Jr., jockey and trainer, respectively, of the storied race horse depicted in the telefilm, issued a statement declaring plans to meet with Disney out of court, according to published reports. A hearing for the preliminary injunction was scheduled for Thursday in Atlanta, where the trademark-infringement suit was filed.

An ESPN spokesman declined comment. Disney previously had said that the lawsuit was "without merit."

"Ruffian" is scheduled to air Saturday on ABC and on ESPN in October. Both networks are named in the suit, as is Disney and production company Orly Adelson Prods.

The lawsuit alleges that the film misconstrues the story of the legendary filly as a true story.