There are plenty of shady characters in all sports–including and particularly college football and basketball (see Sandusky, Jerry). Horse racing, however, may higher per capita number of unique characters and strange situations. Most of these are good or at the very least benign and add to the fascinating subculture of the sport. Some of these people are ‘slippery’ and paint the sport in a bad light. That appears to be the case in Pennsylvania where the treasurer of the state’s Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has disappeared amid an investigation into his role in ‘accounting improprieties’ incurred by the horsemen’s organization.
All sorts of strange things have been happening at Penn National Race Track in Grantsville, Pennsylvania. There’s a separate federal investigation going on that has resulted in indictments against several trainers, veterinarians, a clocker and a former racing office employee for wire fraud and race fixing. That is completely unrelated to the current situation–at least for now. Who knows how this situation will play out.
Todd Carter, is a 2009 graduate of the Racetrack Industry Program at the University of Arizona and until recently the treasurer of the HBPA based at Penn National. Carter, who looks more like a tourist that you’d see getting bottle service at a Las Vegas nightclub than an executive in the horse racing industry, was confronted with the situation with the organization’s books. He hasn’t been at work since and although it hasn’t been confirmed (it’s hard to get anything confirmed about this situation) the word is that his whereabouts are completely unknown at this point.
It looks like Carter is under investigation of some sort, though no one will say by whom or for what. A statement released by the HBPA is completely oblique:“We will continue to fully cooperate with state police, but due to the ongoing investigation, we will have no further comment.” Law enforcement doesn’t have anything to say either. Sgt. Jonathan Kinsey of the Pennsylvania State Police confirmed that that “we are looking for him” but he declined to say on one basis or if he was the subject or part of a criminal investigation. He also would not confirm that Carter left a note at his office before ‘going on the lam’. A Penn National spokesperson also gave a ‘no comment’ and for the time being at least there’s little clarity about one of the stranger horse racing stories in some time.