Derby horse co-owner, father embroiled in Alaska scandal
The co-owner of the Kentucky Derby longshot winner also owns a ranch in Grand Junction off 24 Road, according to Mesa County Assessor records reviewed by The Daily Sentinel.
Mark J. Allen, whose 50-to-1 horse, Mine That Bird, came from behind to win the Derby on May 2, is a partner with his father, Bill J. Allen, in a business venture that owns just more than 10 acres at 1050 24 Road, according to the records.
The Allen Limited Partnership is listed with a mailing address in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Allens were key figures in the October corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, according to published reports in Alaska.
Stevens was convicted a week before losing his re-election bid for a seventh term. A federal judge set aside that conviction last month.
Mark Allen, who owns a ranch in Roswell, N.M., along with a neighbor there, purchased Mine That Bird last year as a gelding for $400,000 after the horse had sold for $9,500 as a yearling, according to a story published May 2 in the Alaska Daily News.
The newspaper also said Bill Allen testified in October during Stevens’ trial that his son had personally paid bribes to a state legislator in Alaska.
Bill Allen, the former chief executive officer of the drilling firm Veco, pleaded guilty in 2007 on charges of bribing Alaska politicians. In a plea agreement, federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute Mark Allen or any other members of the Allen family.
Bill Allen has yet to be sentenced in his case.
Attempts to contact residents at the 24 Road property on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Door knocks went unanswered as a work truck with Alaska license plates sat in the driveway.
Phone calls to the Alaska law firm Bundy & Christensen, which represents the Allens, weren’t immediately returned.
Published reports suggest the family knows Grand Junction well. A private airplane owned by the Allen family made 22 stops in Grand Junction since December 2007, according to the Alaska Daily News, which cited flight data from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Daily News said Bill Allen’s daughter and first wife live in the Grand Junction area.