Alaska Corruption's Kentucky Derby Ride

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If it's not enough that a $9,700 horse that went off as a 50-1 shot squeezed along the inside rail and raced to a stunning Kentucky Derby upset Saturday, then there's this: Mine That Bird's co-owner Mark Allen (right) was given immunity in the long-running Alaskan corruption scandal, and the horse itself got a mention in coverage of U.S. Sen Ted Stevens' trial last year.

Allen's father, chief prosecution witness Bill Allen, told the court his son had given money to a state legislator (who was later convicted of conspiracy), according to the Anchorage Daily News. But as part of Bill Allen's plea deal with prosecutors, Allen's son and the rest of the Allen family were granted immunity from prosecution.

Son Mark, reports ADN's Richard Mauer, went on a horse buying spree last year after collecting a $30 million share from the sale of Veco Corp., which was at the center of the state and federal corruption trials. During the Stevens case, one juror skipped town, later claiming her father died; she ultimately admitted she went to the Breeder's Cup at Santa Anita near LA, where, it turned out, Mark Allen's then-2-year-old thoroughbred, Mine That Bird, was racing as a 30-to-1 longshot in the Juvenile. It's unclear if the juror knew Allen, but if she bet on his horse, the ADN reported, "she lost -- the horse came in 12th in a field of 13."

 
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