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US Trainer Pleads Guilty To Syndicate Race-Fix
New York-based trainer Gregory Martin "faces the possibility of up to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty in a US district court to his role in a multi-million dollar illegal gambling ring" & "admitting he helped to fix a thoroughbred race," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. Martin admitted "administering his horse A One Rocket a milk-shake before the opening race at Aqueduct in December 2003 (a race he won by 10-lengths"; Martin told Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum he then informed associate David 'Pebbles' Applebaum of the milk-shaking & understood Applebaum "would pass this information on to other bettors in the gambling ring". Applebaum (a former thoroughbred owner) was indicted (along with Martin & 15 others) on federal charges stemming from a 2-year probe of the gambling ring. Last year federal prosecutors in Manhattan "unsealed the indictment of all 17 people on 88 counts related to operating an illegal gambling business"; earlier this week thoroughbred owner Gerald Uvari & his brother Cesare (both alleged associates of the Gambino crime organisation) "pleaded guilty to running the illegal gambling operation". Explaining to the court how he administered the milk-shake, Martin (son of US Racing Hall-Of-Fame trainer Frank 'Pancho' Martin) noted: "It is a combination of basically baking soda & sugar & it's mixed up. A hose was inserted through the horse's nose." Martin added milk-shakes "help horses from tiring".