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Friday, July 2, 2021

Black Hat, Mint Julep, Piles of Cash and Karmic Imbalance… Alaska Meets Kentucky.

Well, don’t that beat all.  In another stunning display of “you can’t make this stuff up,” yesterday’s Kentucky Derby winner, a 50:1 longshot named Mine That Bird belongs in part to Mark Allen, son of former CEO of Veco Corp. Bill Allen.

Yes, THAT Bill Allen.  The Bill Allen that copped a plea deal with the feds to turn over the likes of Vic Kohring, Pete Kott, and Ted Stevens.  That last one didn’t work out too well, but nevertheless he tried.

And it doesn’t stop there.  Part of Bill Allen’s plea deal with the feds was that Mark would receive immunity from the federal criminal charges sure to arise from bribing a legislator.  

Bill Allen’s testimony about his son’s payoff to a legislator came in October during the trial of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. While Allen was under orders by the judge in the case to not name any legislators who received Veco or Allen money — one would have been former state Sen. Ben Stevens, Ted’s son, and the judge wanted to avoid prejudicing the jury — Allen used the pronoun “her” to describe the legislator paid by Mark.

In March, former Rep. Bev Masek pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery for accepting at least $4,000 from Allen. Among the overt acts listed in the conspiracy charge was that a “relative” of Bill Allen — the name wasn’t given — gave her “several” thousand dollars in cash at a restaurant in South Anchorage on April 18, 2003, after she complained to Allen that she was broke.

“Masek accepted this money knowing that Veco and its (oil-company) clients had matters pending before the Alaska State Legislature that were important to Allen and Veco’s business interests,” the charge against Masek said.

And, of course, the handing over of cash happened while Veco and its clients had matters before the Legislature that were, shall we say, “important” to them.

So instead of being behind bars, Mark Allen got to bask in the glow of a $2 million purse in the Winner’s Circle at the Kentucky Derby.

To call the result of the Kentucky Derby an upset doesn’t begin to explain what happened Saturday at Churchill Downs when a 53-1 shot named Mine That Bird romped home by 6 3/4 lengths. This was a lot more than an upset; it was the most inconceivable result in the 135-year history of the race. An impossibility, that’s what this was.

For a photo of the lucky winners, and the rest of the sordid details, see today’s Anchorage Daily News.  Poetically, Mark Allen is the one wearing the black hat.

There aren’t enough mint juleps in the world to restore the karmic balance of the universe.



57 Responses to “Black Hat, Mint Julep, Piles of Cash and Karmic Imbalance… Alaska Meets Kentucky.”
  1. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Late on this one—we were away…..

    So now I understand the reticence of the jockey—who was SOOOOO exuberant after the race— in the press conference today. Does the Alaska wind blow cold, even in Kentucky, at this time of year—or were they trying to minimize their win?

    I LOVE horses, and have “crewed” endurance horses for years on several continents. Horses are purely honest. It’s either their day or it’s not.

    Their owners….not so much.

    Mine that Bird is a noble animal. I wish him well, his owner: not so much….his owner should “fess up” or get out of the limelight.

    There are many honorable folks who would buy him.

    Just sayin”….

  2. Zen Bonobo says:

    Derby outcomes seem to swing between rich board room crooks and busted out backside grifters. It is not so much the circumstances of the owners and trainers as it it the on track outcome dictated by the horse and the rider. It was a spectacular run by an unlikely horse. There may a book in it.

  3. Corine56 says:

    Maybe the name ” Mine the Bird” has something to do with miners using canary’s in them. Sorta like pebble mine.? Just a thought.

  4. justafarmer says:

    BTW, I picked a couple of huge fistsfull of peppermint on Saturday.
    Didn’t make mint juleps…made bedtime tea sweetened with honey from our beehives….mmmmmm!

  5. justafarmer says:

    it was a great race…here in eastern Kentucky, me & hubby were working and we don’t have network TV so didn’t see the Derby.
    But I saw the results on Yahoo and when I said to hubby that it was a 52-1 that won, his first response was “was it a muddy track?”
    Yes it was! Longshots ALWAYS win on a muddy track at Churchill Downs. (We call them “mudders” and love ’em).
    Word is the Mine the Bird (what kind of name is THAT???) will go to the Preakness. If it’s not a muddy track there, expect Mine the Bird to be way out of the money, much like the Derby fave at 17 out of 18 in the field.

  6. Maeve says:

    Boy did they ever miss it when naming that horse. Should have been called ‘Ill-gotten Gains”

  7. KallieinTexas says:

    Great race, great horse, great jockey….not so great co-owner. It truly was amazing and exhilarating to see the long shot win. Let’s not let our dislike of the owners get in the way, heck, we don’t know much about any of the other owners…they probably have skeletons in their closets too. Lots of big money, lots of shady dealing I’ll bet.

  8. sauerkraut says:

    well, yanno… that jockey does look kinda like the small dude on the porch with the mean banjo fingers… take a look

  9. sauerkraut says:

    black hat dude and his jockey make me wanna get out the banjo and play for deliverance…

  10. curiouser says:

    OT — 60 Minutes is reporting on oil damage in Ecuador and a $27 billion lawsuit brought by Amazonians against Chevron/Texaco (?).

  11. Canadian Neighbour says:

    Looks like the President has some visitors outside wanting to meet him!!! Cute!!

  12. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    another amusing post with a great pic, lol……..sorry scarah.

  13. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Thanks Martha, lol……Injuneau, I don’t know, her name just sounds familiar….when I read today, she had a “dream type prophecy” about Palin I just got wondering if she was a friend appointed to something,lol.

  14. austintx says:

    Martha UYS – Yup , and he’s a lobbyist also.too.

  15. UK Lady says:


    Good catch on the link to the wayward juror.

  16. InJuneau says:

    @Say NO to Palin in Politics–in answer to your question from another link, in case you don’t go back and see it–is she Tom Fink’s wife?

  17. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Regina has done some recent re-blogs about the Ruedrich/Palin fiasco. It’s all coming back to me like a bad dream.

  18. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    never mind……according to another story I found Palin was “asked” to check Ruedrich’s computer by Alaska’s assistant attorney general, which she “could” due to her position, how very convenient.

    Then she resigned?

    I’ll go back to find AKM’s account, something I’ll be able to follow, lol.

    Keeping up with Scarah’s antics makes my head hurt.

  19. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:


    @ Say NO to Palin in Politics

    “Was Palin ever held accountable for 1) “hacking” into Ruedrich’s computer…?”

    Palin and accountable in the same sentence? She was just getting started then, and so happy for herself that she found a back door into the world of state politics. That’s what it was really all about, and she wanted to shout from the rooftops what she did and what she found (she has such a big mouth). She sure didn’t like the “confidential” part then! As long as folks were hearing all about her “reforming and progressing” they weren’t paying much attention to how badly she performed as mayor of Wasilla. She’s all about smoke and mirrors – and when the smoke clears and all the mirrors break, there’s not much left behind except a conniving, greedy Sneauty Queen.

  20. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    @ Greytdog – that’s GREAT news about the Triple Crown tracks! And yes we CAN for greyhounds, too. My big dog is part greyhound and he is the sweetest, fastest dog I’ve ever had. When we adopt again, I would take a greyhound in a second if I were in the right place at the time. What is your suggestion for the best way to help “clean up” the greyhound racing gig – is there an advocate group that does good work?

  21. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    I’m not prepared to read another article, but the one I read on Yahoo painted the whole enterprise as some shoestring hick operation getting lucky. The writer even gushed that Allen’s truck broke down in Texas ….. right out of Hee Haw.

    Lucky for me I have a blog and can vent the truth. 😉

  22. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Was Palin ever held accountable for 1) “hacking” into Ruedrich’s computer, then 2) stealing the “proof” she used in HER eithics charge that SHE filed? She did file one correct?

    so it was (or still is) okay to illegally hack into a government official’s computer and steal government documents by a government employee? with no consequences? the means justified the end result? then that former government employee is rewarded with an elected position?

    so like Ruedrich is now saying, Palin started the eithics blame game, now she’s tired of it, she doesn’t want to play that game anymore, blaaa.

    it makes my head spin

  23. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    @ austintx

    Uno is the most AWESOME beagle and i didn’t realize he was from Texas – way to go Texas! I have a coonhound, and we danced around when we heard the news of a HOUND winning Best in Show! We’d been telling our hound that they are just misunderstood and underestimated, but that some day – hounds would be COOL!

    We must love him because this was said after he wrecked two leather car interiors, scared away all the big dogs in our neighborhood from coming to the house for biscuits, terrorized kitties and big brother dog, chewed up big brother’s favorite toys, ate my favorite Mexican alebrije given to me by my mother, and I’m running out of room for the rest of the story!

  24. Greytdog Δ says:

    Martha, the Triple Crown tracks were the very first to institute safety measures and stringent sanctions for drugging – and they were led to this due to the deaths of Barbaro and Eight Belles. Eight Belles owner has practically retired in order to devote the rest of his time and monies to ensuring the safety and well being of these horses. Now if we could only get the National Greyhound Racing association to institute some compassionate anti-abuse sanctions too. . .but that’s a pipe dream.

  25. Greytdog Δ says:

    The trainer was also wearing a black hat. But all politics and corruption aside, that was an awesome race.

  26. austintx says:

    28 Martha Unalaska Yard Sign Says:
    May 3rd, 2009 at 2:01 PM
    But like the unlikely beagle that won Best In Show
    That would be “Uno” from Austin.

  27. SameOld says:

    Apparently the horse racing industry is cleaning up the drugging and breeding issues. They said before the race that all horses would be tested with the test materials frozen. Therefore they could be called up and results released if needed. That horse was that good, along with being a gelding (calmer in the clutch) and experienced on dirt tracks.

  28. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Wow! I love horses, but it sure would be cool if a week or two went by w/o a story relating to Alaskan corruption of some sort. I hope the horse just ran an amazing race and that both the horse and jockey were drug free and just doin’ what they know how to do best! Mark Allen should just trip in horse poop, face down, and lay there for awhile because he IS a jerk. Just for starters.

    But like the unlikely beagle that won Best In Show, and Susan Boyle out of nowhere who knocked our socks off with her voice, we all love an underdog (hee hee) and this horse should take its place in underdog history along with the rest of our unsuspected heros.

  29. Irishgirl says:

    I just saw the race (thanks to austintx for the link), it was pretty amazing. That horse was coming last and somehow managed to win…..I hope there were no drugs involved, and that the horse and jockey did this on their own.

    It sucks that Mark Allen owns the horse…that goes without saying….but what a race!!

  30. Gryphen says:

    Hi Mudpuppies.

    Just my two cents but if a race is won by any horse owned by the Allen family it might not be a bad idea to take a blood sample from the other horses to check if they received a little something extra in their morning oat breakfast.

    Like Benadryl for horses or something.

  31. aspiecelia says:

    I would really suspect some kind of foul play. I supose it is possible this horse won fair and square, but after living in NM and AK I have learned full well, where there is smoke there is fire. When I lived in Deming NM I told the FBI, legislators and governor the police were dealing drugs and more. They ignored me and I was harrashed by the police until I felt my life was in danger and fled. Now the drug families are moving to Columbus right next to Deming. Our country is allowing this. The chief of police (drug dealer) of Las Palomas right over the border in MX ran to the US for assylum when the Mexican military took over the town to stop the flow of drugs into Deming and Columbus. Apparently we took him. A drug task force gave law enforcement $300,000 to work on the drug problem and they stole it. Our government never listens to the truth until it is too late. Oh, I have corruption stories about AK too. We know the government here does not listen.

  32. jojobo1 says:

    great race. was amazing to watch this horse come
    out ahead no matter who owns the horse The horse and jocky won the race
    I don’t see how stevens could win anything was he admitted he was guilty.I don’t know the man only read about him and what he admitted to,.IMO he will not want this bought into the open again.

  33. tigerwine says:

    AKraven – it sure is stinky!!

  34. AKraven says:

    Interesting connection that should be investigated is the juror in Ted Steven’s tiral, Marian Hinnant, who left town during deliberations. She “told the judge her father had died, but then admitted she had a ticket to see the Breeders cup…” “Mine That Bird,…, ran in the Breeders Cup” “Hinnant was replaced by an alternate, who later blogged about her experiences. Before the Stevens case was thrown out for prosecutorial errors, Stevens’ defense cited Hinnant and the blogger as reasons a new trial was warranted.” (quotes from ADN 5/3/2009) Looks like Allen or someone was jury tampering. Where did she get the ticket? Did she get a lot of money too? This is stinky!!

  35. Ripley says:

    The jockey rode perfectly and the horse was good, no doubt. I however, was rooting for General Quarters, a REAL Cinderella story and from a homegrown owner, from CT. He owns a one-horse stable, he’s a 75 year old trainer, groom and all around good guy. His horse got stuck in traffic and got mud all up his nose. He said he pulled a hunk of mud from one nostril the size of a tennis ball. That will slow a horse down, for sure. He graduated from my high school and was there when my parents were. A good story to check out.

  36. Coker says:

    Allens sponsored/hired teenage prostitutes in Girdwood Chalets. This has yet to come out

  37. AlaskaGuy says:

    Has the horse been tested for drugs?

  38. akConstant says:

    Don’t let the Alaska mess take away from the amazing victory of this little horse that could. It was amazing, no matter the context. Consider, the horse was purchased for mere pennies relative to the rest of the horses.

  39. Shelley Dee says:

    Well, I’m a Kentuckian — at first I was just happy that a Kentucky-bred horse won. Now I’m not so pleased! Of course, everyone loves it when an underdog does well. And I love the jockey (he rode a 20-length win the Oaks the day before). But this really kills my buzz!

  40. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    I wonder how this happened? did someone blow the whistle? then they failed to pass? are things tightening up under this new Obama administration? less wiggle room? They donated to Don Young’s legal fund, maybe not enough? lol.

    At any rate I’m glad they are being forced to do something about a dangerous situation.

    “One of Alaska’s biggest seafood processors has agreed to pay more than $112,000 for failing to properly report its storage of a toxic gas at three of its Alaska plants as well as at a Seattle plant. Trident Seafoods Corp. agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $61,354 for violating federal law by not reporting thousands of pounds of ammonia — implicated in many leaks and dangerous explosions — to emergency planners.”

  41. akConstant says:

    The best hope at getting anything from the Allen family is a civil suit by Catherine Stevens. I imagine she is crafting the case already. Worth about $300,000,000 for defamation of character, slander, and lying on the stand to destroy her family’s reputation. I know most of your readers don’t like Ted Stevens, but I don’t care about that. Bill Allen needs to lose the $300,000,000 he has in an escrow account from the VECO sale.

  42. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Madoff crashed and lost his sparkling glory, so I have hope.

  43. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Wait, I meant go after Mark, Ben too, lol

  44. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Hang on to hope, perhaps when the Feds are done with this corruption sting in AK they’ll go after Ben for something else. IRS could find something “suspicious” in his finances, I mean come on, that chances a high don’t ya think?

    I don’t think he has immunity for life from prosecution, just in this AK shake down.

    The read kids and Bill share a plane. ……. (Bill Allen, family, horses)

    this is a comment from a thread……..”people could learn a lot about politics and money trails, corporate conglomerates and how all those people loose big money in the Horse Industry… , a real snazzy type of income tax fraud. Buy horses (and I mean lots of horses go through these kinds of “buyers” hands) for way more than they are worth, take huge losses on your taxes, and wala, you can then sell a couple here and there for 100k – 1mil for some spending money, all cash deals of course!!

  45. tigerwine says:

    Huffington Post had an article regarding the high # of ethics violations filed against SP. We all know that. What floored me was the following:

    “Judy Bockmon, who as the state ethics attorney at the Alaska Department of Law conducts the initial review of all complaints, said the state doesn’t keep track of how many are filed. “It’s not information that is useful to anybody,” she said, adding that the number of complaints seems “unusual.”

    It’s not useful to anybody??? Whaaaat? It sounds like these complaints just sit in a black hole somewhere. Where are the Legislators? Is there no one up there to stand up for integrity and honesty?

    And now this thing with the KY Derby. It will never be as fun for me again. It’s a big thing down here – you wouldn’t believe the # of parties held during that short period of time. Can’t say I was impressed when I first drank from a mint julep cup – just don’t like drinking from metal, I guess. (Never did like thos colored aluminum glasses from the ’60’s, either – and they are bringing them back!)

  46. just sayin' says:

    Too bad, it was an awesome race for an underdog, a biblical disney-type moment, when after being shut out at the start by a couple of super horses, ‘mine that bird’ was able to fall back, reassess, and find the hard and swift path from second to last, to victory…we cheered as the uber wealthy in the stands stood mute and stunned…and then this…aurgh….but then you have to think of the name, and ‘mine’ I think is a verb in this case, given it’s owners.

  47. weaver57 says:

    The black hat dude on crutches was the trainer, also in New Mexico.

  48. Ripley says:

    darn it… black HAT dud.

  49. Ripley says:

    Hang on, I meant the black had dud on crutches and dark sunglasses. Who’s that other guy?

  50. Ripley says:

    And the black hat dud was incredibly RUDE to the interviewer who got to him first, after the race. What a jerk he is. Once I saw what a chooch he was, without knowing his Alaska connection, I instantly felt deflated that a longshot won.

    NOW that I know who he is, I get why he’s such a jerk.

  51. honestyinGov says:

    The Huffpo is covering the Alaska connection to the Derby winner as well. Right beside it on the page is another story ” Palin Ethics Complaints pile up ”

    Being so ‘ popular ‘ is sort of like being in High School again for GINO….?
    (I doubt she will win ‘Miss Congeniality’ though)

  52. JJinJuneau says:

    We are now familiar with the “slimy characters” Bill Allen and Mark Allen are. And as an Alaskan, I am livid at the special treatment Bill Allen worked out for himself and his kid with the FBI. Given the impossible odds that this horse would win and the huge pay out, I strongly recommend some sort of investigation into the horse: performance enchancing drugs come to mind. As I live in Juneau and am not into horses, others would know much more than I know about the underhanded techniques available to the Allens who are as dirty as they come. Unless this matter would be investigated by the FBI, there could really be something here.

  53. weaver57 says:

    Mark Allen owns a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico.

  54. austintx says:

    Here is the race. Great horse. Sorry ass co-owner.

  55. austintx says:

    Just to make sure there is no mistake on how to make a Mint Julep , listen to the “Queen of Mint Juleps” :

  56. ericmiami says:

    Maybe Mark can donate that money to a charity. Perhaps the “Alaska Trust Fund?”

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