NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- A judge has thrown out a lawsuit over $1.65 million in gambling debts against the owner of racehorse American Pharoah.

The dismissal of the lawsuit against Ahmed Zayat comes during horse racing's biggest week, as American Pharoah chases the first Triple Crown in 37 years.

Zayat's horse will try to win the first Triple Crown since 1978 when he races in the Belmont Stakes this weekend.

Last year Florida resident Howard Rubinsky sued Zayat, claiming Zayat owed him $1.65 million he had advanced him for gambling bets placed at offshore casinos.

A federal judge in Newark ruled Thursday that Rubinsky's suit was filed after New Jersey's statute of limitations had expired.

Related: CRAWFORD | Potential spoilers have no qualms about halting Triple Crown history

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