|Contact: Julie Koenig Loignon, Churchill Downs Incorporated, 502-636-4502
Chip Tuttle, NTRA/Breeders' Cup, 917-602-2148
Arlington, Breeders' Cup Seek Court Approval For Pick-6 Payment
Lexington, KY (January 28, 2003) -- Arlington Park and its parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated, filed a petition today with the U.S. District Court in New York to request that the court recognize Arlington Park's claim to the funds from the wagering pool of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six wager. In granting the petition, the court would allow the Illinois Racing Board to authorize Arlington Park's payment to the rightful winners.
Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief, Jr. and Arlington Park President Steve Sexton released the following statement on the matter:
"The rightful winners have been waiting nearly three months to receive what is theirs. The petition being filed in U.S. District Court in New York is a request for simple justice. We will continue to do everything within our power to see that the winners receive their payments, with interest, as soon as possible."
The funds have been held in an interest-bearing escrow account by Arlington Park since the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in October when racing officials noticed irregularities in the supposed winning wagers placed through Catskill Off-Track Betting (OTB). Since then, Autotote employee Chris Harn has pleaded guilty to altering the wagers after races had been run; wagers that his friend Derrick Davis made on the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six via his Catskill OTB telephone account. The two await sentencing.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which prosecuted Harn and Davis, has requested forfeiture of the funds. Breeders’ Cup officials indicated that if the court were to proceed with forfeiture, the U.S. Attorney’s office would, in turn, transfer the funds to Arlington Park to pay off the winning wagers. However, by filing the petition, Arlington Park is attempting to expedite the payment process by several weeks. Attached is a copy of the petition.
Arlington Park -- host to the record-breaking 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 104-day meet in 2003 from Friday, May 9 through Saturday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates six off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities - Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI"), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates world-renowned horse racing venues throughout the United States. The Company's racetracks in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky host 115 graded-stakes events and many of North America's most prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Hollywood Gold Cup and Arlington Million. CDI racetracks have hosted nine Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships - more than any other North American racing company. CDI also owns off-track betting facilities and has interests in various television production, telecommunications and racing services companies that support CDI's network of simulcasting and racing operations. CDI trades on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders’ Cup Limited conduct the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, the Breeders’ Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com.
|UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- against -
CHRISTOPHER HARN, GLEN DaSILVA, and DERRICK DAVIS
02 Cr. 1477 (CLB)
|Rebecca C. Reed submits this petition on behalf of Arlington Park Racecourse, LLC ("Arlington Park" or "Petitioner") under penalty of perjury pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853:
Arlington Park asserts a legal interest in the property which is the subject of the Preliminary Order of Forfeiture, 02 Cr. 1477 (CLB) (the "Order") in this matter entered on December 23, 2002. The Order specifies that "any person, other than the defendants, having or claiming a legal interest in the forfeited property must file a petition with the court within thirty (30) days of the final publication of notice or receipt of actual notice, whichever is earlier.” Arlington Park received actual notice of the order on January 6, 2003.
Arlington Park was the host racetrack for, and conducted, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races (the "Championship Races") run on October 26, 2002. Selecting horses as potential winners on each of the last six (6) of the Championship Races constituted the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six wager. The activities of the Defendants with respect to the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six wager formed the criminal activities described in the Order. On information and belief, the defendants altered an electronic wager made by Defendant, Derrick Davis, through Catskill Off-Track Betting’s telephone account wagering system so that the wager purported to select all six of the winners of the Championship Races comprising the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six wager. Defendant Davis’ altered wager was the only wager that selected all six winners in the Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick Six Wager. Once Arlington Park realized that Davis’ wager that purported to have six winning selections was the result of alleged manipulation, it escrowed the Pick Six winning monies otherwise payable to the holder of that wager. At no time were any of the proceeds of the fraudulent wager provided to Catskill Off-Track Betting or to anyone involved in the illegal activity. These monies are still Arlington Park's funds and are being held in an escrow account by Arlington Park at Bank One in Chicago, Illinois. The current balance of the escrow account is $3,076,956.61. A copy of a letter from Michael Cody, Arlington Park's Vice President of Finance, to Investigator Jorge Plata identifying the location of the escrowed monies, is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
As the host of the Championship Races, Arlington Park has a legal interest in the monies that would otherwise have been payable to Defendant Davis, the holder of the altered six of six wager. Arlington Park is the racetrack at which the Championship Races, the subject of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six wager, were run. Arlington Park is the licensee that was authorized to accept wagers on the Championship Races. Arlington Park has specific information concerning the identity of the persons who selected five of six winners in the Breeders' Cup Pick Six wager. As the licensee, Arlington Park is the proper entity to distribute the monies to the rightful owners and Arlington Park intends to distribute the monies to the rightful owners.
While Arlington Park's escrow account is not specified in the Order, Arlington Park by this petition seeks to protect its legal right, title or interest in the property subject to the Order. If this petition is granted, Arlington Park would release the funds in the escrow account to the rightful owners.
WHEREFORE, Petitioner respectfully requests that the Court either make a determination that Arlington Park has a legal right, title or interest in the property subject to the Order and the funds currently in escrow and that Defendant, Derrick Davis, never had any right, title or interest therein, or in the event a final order of forfeiture is entered, to release the funds as restitution to Arlington Park for ultimate disposition to the rightful owners.
Rebecca C. Reed deposes and says that she submits this petition on behalf of Arlington Park in the above captioned matter, that she read the foregoing petition and knows the contents thereof, and that the same is true to her knowledge.
Sworn to before me this _______ day of ______________, 20____
Rebecca C. Reed
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