A five-man task force, armed with photographs and paternity-testing gear, flew to Uruguay last night in a attempt to unravel the bizarre horse racing affair that may come to be known as the Case of the Dead Ringer.
A top-flight Uruguyan horse named Cinzano, whom Gerard allegedly destroyed June 12 because it suffered a broken skull in an accident, is believed to have won a race at Belmont on September 23rd – racing under the name of Lebon, a mediocre animal.
Meanwhile, a London-based insurance company had paid Cinzano’s owner $150,000 on the ‘death’ of the horse.
The horse known as Lebon was so overlooked by bettors that it paid $116 for a $2 win bet. The board contends that Gerard was the single largest bettor on the horse, collecting about $77,000 after making several trips to the $50 window rather than placing one large bet at one time.
At most major tracks in the United States, American-bred horses may not compete unless their lips have a permanently tattooed identification number.
South American horses are not tattooed.
ex NYT 11/3/77