English Derby Fiction Recalls Recent True Belmont Incident: Fan Dies Holding Winning Mutuels; Pinkertons Help Apprehend Ticket Thieves, Daily Racing Form, 1955-06-15


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— i English Derby Fiction Recalls Recent True Belmont Incident Fan Dies Holding Winning ♦ Mutuels; Pinkertons Help Apprehend Ticket Thieves By TOM OREILLY For years a rule of English racing barred any horse from winning the English Derby unless its owner was alive. If a man died me aay nis norse was to start at Epsom, the animal had to be scratched. British racing authorities didnt want their cup bandied about in law courts. It was a crazy law. Edgar Wallace, noted detective story writer and racing expert, campaigned against it for ! vpars Thp lrnnr» nnr. punch was delivered, however, in a classic racing story, called "Destiny Bay," written by the late beloved Donn Byrne. "Destiny Bay" was a beautiful spot on the Irish Coast, where all gypsies were welcome to camp without fear of molestation. Its rich owner had been befriended by gypsies as a boy. Some gypsies turned up there with a fine thoroughbred and proceeded to train him for the English Derby. On Derby Day; as was their cus- | torn, the entire tribe of gypsies were camped in the Epsom infield. The horse named "Wings Of The Morning," had been entered by the ancient Queen of the tribe. During the running she died. But the gypsies propped her up on a high wagon, rouged her cheeks and staged a parade. Then they took away the cup. I Shortly after that story appeared, the1 rule was changed. Later the yarn was turned into Englands first color movie, with authentic Epsom scenes, Steve Dono-hue riding the horse and John McCormack giving an impromptu concert in an Irish mansion. Henry Tonda starred with an Anglo-Celtic cast and it is revived every now and then in thisicountry as "Wings of-the Morning." Fact Often Better Than Fiction It should be remembered, however, that this great tale was pure fiction. Sometimes, out at the racetrack, factual stories J are uncovered that rival, a fiction writers imagination. It would surprise no one if, at some future date, we came upon a story or movie, built around the grim case of the late Samuel I. Brandt, 62, of 41 Park Avenue, a retired lingerie manufacturer, I who died on his way home from Belmont Park, May 26. Undoubtedly you read the tale on the front pages. Samuel Brandt attended the races that day in a car driven by his brother, Nathan, of Brooklyn. Nathan left before the eighth race but, on a tip from Samuel, bought a 0-win pari-mutuel ticket on Kitty Light--ner, running against eight others in the eighth. Kitty Lightner won and paid 0.80 for .00. After the race, Samuel Brandt climbed into a limousine that carries horseplayers to, or from, the track and New York, at .00 a head. The car had hardly pulled out of the track when he collapsed. Returned to the tiny track hospital. Brandt was examined by Dr. Phil Tuths and Miss Dorothy Mull, the nurse. He had died of a heart attack. Nassau County police officials and the tracks Pinkerton men, searched him. They found seven 00 banknotes, one 0 bill, one of ten, a fiver, a bill, 60 cents in -change, a gold watch and chain, eyeglasses and several mutuel tickets — all losers. The body was removed to the County Morgue at East Meadow and later to the Riverside Funeral Chapel on Manhattans West 76th street. Daniel Brandt, a son of the dead man, called for the personal effects. He told detectives he knew his Father planned to bet 00 on Kitty Lightner. Still they had Continued on Page Forty-Three English Derby Fiction Recalls Belmont Incident Fan Dies With Winning Mutuel Tickets; Apprehend Thieves Continued from Page Seren found only losing tickets. Young Brandt then went to the Riverside Funeral Chapel. No tickets had been found in his Fathers. wearing apparel there. Next day he went to see Jerry OGrady, of Pinkertons Detective Agency, which guards the tracks. Jerry put five crack men on the case. They were Art Mooney, former Secret Service man; Ed Bednarz, former Naval Intelligence Officer; Pete Stickle, formerly of the F. B. I., and Bill Devine, who was on Prosecutor -Thomas E. Deweys staff. They soon learned that Brandt, a familiar clubhouse figure, had purchased seven 00 tickets on Kitty Lightner; that he, had walked in to cash them, after he won, but was discouraged by the long lines at the window. He mentioned to a Pinker-ton man at the door that he would pick up his money — ,780 — next day. Mr. OGrady immediately arranged with Lou Walger, head of Belmonts mutuel department, to delay anyone turning up with the Brandt tickets. Last Friday the break came. Two men — one tall, the other short, turned Up with the Brandt tickets. The cashier "pretended to check the tickets and a quick phone call summoned three Pinkerton men behind a screen in the booth, where they could watch. The cashier then slipped -,160 in crisp, new money to the tall man for his four tickets/Before the smaller man could cash his three, the Pinkerton men asked both of them to step into Mr. OGradys office. One turned out to be -an embalmer and the other was a driver for the Riverside Funeral Chapel. . After long and separate * questioning police said Roff signed a statement admit- ting that the tickets had come fybm a hidden side pocket in Mr. Brandts coat. Both men are now "out on bail. The cash and tickets are being held as evidence. "The evil that men do lives after them. The good is of t interred with their bones." "6r so they say! 9 A

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1955061501/drf1955061501_7_3
Local Identifier: drf1955061501_7_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800