Hunter Thompson may have been taking strange drugs when he observed, "the Kentucky Derby is decadent and depraved," but he was putting it mildly. There was a temptation some couldn't possibly ignore ...
Lexington's clutch of CIA-guns-and-drugs-running, mercenary-training, witness-disappearing, Dixie-Mafia Company Dons fixed the 2005 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs ...
The motive was obvious – a bet on Giocomo, the front-runner in the world's ultimate horse race, paid a staggering 50-1 – that is, a $20,000 bet grossed you $1,000,000. It was a fix waiting to happen ... And who should be situated ideally to know something about it? ... Flight 5191's Marcie Thomason, Betty Joyce Bond Young and Carole Bizzack, given their respective points of view ...
As it happens, Giacomo, the Derby "champion," was bred, foaled and trained at Mill Ridge Farm, a hub of Marcie Thomason's universe. William W. Thomason, her father, has been the financial and administrative manager of the horse breeding farm for some 20 years (see part 24).293 Thomason pays close attention to every horse at the farm, according to the Mill Ridge web site. And through Bill Thomason – former chairman of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce – Marcie came into Giacomo's sphere and had contact with some of those behind the Kentucky Derby Fix ...
Jerry Moss, for instance, owner of Giacomo.294
A&M Records is a division of MCA Universal – the mobbed-up mass entertainment production complex that gave us Robert Strauss, the crooked Houston attorney, James A. Baker III's former partner, and J. Livingston Kosberg's Gibraltar Savings co-conspirator (see parts 1, 17-suppl., 31 & 36)].
Jerry Moss, of course, is an iconic figure in the record business. In 1961, Moss and Herb Albert of Tijuana Brass fame founded Carnival Records, the antecedent of A&M, the most successful independent record company in the biz.295 Moss was born in New York City on May 8, 1935. As the A&M site relates: "He was the second son of Irving and Rose Moss. Jerry's parents were poor, living in the South Bronx area near Yankee stadium. He worked his way through college, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Brooklyn College. After college, he entered the U.S. Army and was discharged in August of 1958. He was hired by record promotion man Marvin Cane at $75 per week to hype records to radio stations on the east coast. His first assignment was to promote 'Sixteen Candles' by the Crests. Moss didn't think much of the recording, but he worked hard promoting the record up and down the east coast. In January, 1959, the song rose to the No. 2 spot in the Billboard charts, due in large part to the efforts of Moss. Jerry Moss worked for a year and a half with Cane, learning the 'ins and outs' of record promotion. He left Cane and moved to California in the spring of 1960, and became a record promo man on the West Coast. In 1961, Moss met Herb Alpert, and was impressed with his trumpet playing."296 A&M (for Alpert and Moss) was born.
It was Jerry Moss who signed The Police – at the behest of Miles Copeland – initially to a distribution deal. Copeland biographer Aaron Stipkovich writes that the early success of The Police
Some racing industry whistle-blowers maintain that the Kentucky Derby has been fixed in the past. Ben Radstein, a horse race commentator, writes that the 2003 Kentucky Derby ended in an upset when 12-1 long shot "Funny Cide defeated the heavily favored Empire Maker. No gelding had won the Derby since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929. Many were angered one week later whan a photo seemed to show jockey Jose Santos holding a foreign object along with his whip. To try to get to the bottom of this, I spoke to Manny Macklin, an industry insider, and publisher of the tipsheet, Mad Manny's Pony Picks. 'That was a buzzer. You can bet the farm on that.' said Macklin, 'For those who don't know, a buzzer is a simple device that can be put together with a battery and a little bit of wire.' ... I asked him why any jockey would risk getting caught, and have his career ended, and Macklin explained, 'The money. Horse Racing is the sport of kings, and kings don't care about playing fair, just winning. There are very rich and powerful men wagering on these races, and they have their ways of making sure that they don't lose.' ... Macklin presented me with an exclusive photo that he had shown to no one else. It clearly shows the horse's reaction when zapped with the buzzer. 'There it is, plain as day. That pony just got one heller of a jolt, and that put him over the top. From the looks of it, Santos was using a really potent one.'"298
The outcome of the 2003 Derby was bizarre, but Giacomo's win in 2005, overcoming 50-1 odds, was even more unbelievable. On May 8, 2005, USA Today offered a novel theory:
Giacomo's upset was such a shocking development that HBO boxing promoter Jim Lampley, writing in the Huffington Post, considered it "the second biggest story of our lives" – the first being the stolen GW Bush elections ...
"Oddsmakers consulted racing form data and thoroughly examined the prior times of every horse in this years Kentucky Derby. Bellamy Road was the choice of oddmakers across the board, especially in light of his 30 length victory margin in the last race before the run at Churchill Downs.
"Oddsmakers acknowledged in their oddsmaking at that moment that Bellamy Road would win the Kentucky Derby.
"And he most certainly would have, at least if the race had been fairly and LEGALLY run. What happened instead was the BIGGEST CRIME IN THE HISTORY OF HORSERACING, and the collective media silence which has followed is the greatest fourth-estate failure ever on our soil.
"Many of the participants in this blog have graduate school educations. It is damned near impossible to go to graduate school in any but the most artistic disciplines without having to learn about the basics of social research and its uncanny accuracy and validity. We know that triple crown events simply do not produce 50-1 longshot winners 'out of nowhere,' without some elaborate Rovian conspiracy to cheat and defraud the betting public. Because Giacomo was the biggest longshot to win the Derby since 1913 and the runner-up, Closing Argument (72-1), was even longer odds the trifecta payouts was $133,134.80 for a $2 bet. That kind of payout attracts those who like their games of chance with big payouts and low risk. Of course today we learn that Bellamy Road has dropped out of the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, due to an alleged foot injury. Coincidence? Of course not.
"George Steinbrenner [whose horse finished seventh in the Derby] isn't capable of conceiving and executing such a grandiose crime? Wake up. THEY DID IT. The silence of traditional media on this subject is enough to establish their newfound bankruptcy. ... Is there any greater imperative than to reverse this crime and reestablish the opportunity for a legitimate contender for the Triple Crown? Why the mass silence? Let's go to work with the circumstantial evidence, begin to narrow from the outside in, and find some witnesses who will turn. ..."300
"Giacomo's victory beyond strange," reported Rick Bozich at the Louisville Courier-Journal. "Giacomo? ... he was some faceless 50-1 also-ran from California owned by a Hollywood record producer. This one is going to take some time to explain — or understand. ... The 131st Kentucky Derby was won by a horse that had been beaten in his last five starts, a colt whose only win in seven career starts had been a maiden race last October, a horse whose only memorable credential was that he was named after the youngest son of the musical star Sting."301
Many other commentators in the press have commented that they believed the race was fixed.
293.) Jack Shinar, "Giacomo's First Win Since Derby a Nail-Biter," Blood-Horse Magazine, July 24, 2006.
294.) Jay Hovdey, "ANN & JERRY MOSS," Gregson Foundation site, April 24, 2006.
295.) Patrice Eyries, Dave Edwards, & Mike Callahan, "A&M Album Discography," A&M Records site, August 9, 2001.
297.) Aaron Stipkovich, "Miles Copeland: Profile."
298.) Ben Radstein, "Kentucky Derby was Rigged."
299.) Gary Mihoces and Tom Pedulla, "Roswell native Smith feels force," USA Today, May 8, 2005.
300.) Jim Lampley, "THE SECOND BIGGEST STORY OF OUR LIVES," Huffington Post, May 11, 2005.
301.) Rick Bozich, "Giacomo's victory beyond strange," reprinted at USA Today site, May 7, 2005.