Monday, May 11, 2009


Former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was spotted at the Off the Record bar at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington on Saturday May 2nd. . Stevens appeared to be interested in the Kentucky Derby festivities on the TV, but he left before race time.But the story doesn’t end there.

Mine That Bird, a 50-1 longshot, was the surprise Derby winner on Saturday. The horse is owned by Mark Allen, who is the son of Bill Allen, former CEO of the oil company Veco. Bill Allen was the lead government witness in the prosecution of Stevens. As part of his plea deal, Bill Allen secured immunity for his son, who Allen says bribed two state lawmakers (including, coincidentally, Stevens’s son Ben Stevens, a state senator.) If Mark Allen had been charged and convicted, he would have lost his license to purchase horses in New Mexico, where he bought Mine That Bird.

And that’s not all, according to the Anchorage Daily News, which noted that Mine That Bird indirectly figured into one of the oddest events in the Stevens trial. After the jurors began deliberating on the fate of Stevens, one of them, Marian Hinnant, skipped town. She initially said her father had died, but then admitted she had a ticket to see the Breeders’ Cup, a major thoroughbred stakes race Santa Anita Park in California. Mine That Bird, which at that time had recently been purchased by Allen and his neighbor Leonard Blach, ran in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a two-year-old. In that contest, Mine That Bird was true to form — he was a 30-to-1 long shot and finished 12th. Hinnant, meanwhile, was subsequently replaced by an alternate juror.

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