The arrest of financier and prominent Thoroughbred owner Gary Tanaka in New York on charges of allegedly stealing money from clients isn't impacting his far-flung racing stable, at least so far.
On June 3, a federal judge freed Tanaka, who will be 62 on June 23, on $11 million bail. The owner and co-founder of Amerindo Investment Advisors spent a week in jail on charges that he stole several million dollars from investors in order to finance the purchase of racehorses. There are three fraud counts against Tanaka.
Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York have about two weeks to prepare the case against Tanaka and obtain an indictment. His partner in the technology investment firm, philanthropist Alberto Vilar, is facing similar charges in a separate complaint.
"As I understand it, the racing operation will continue as before," Lincoln Collins, Tanaka's racing manager, said by telephone June 9. "I haven't heard anything differently. He's got Pellegrino (and Sarafan) entered for the Charlie Whittingham (gr. IT) on Saturday at Hollywood Park, and the favorite (Rakti) in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot at York next week. As I say, from the point of view of the racing stable, everything is going forward as usual."
Collins, who joined Tanaka's operation in January, said the owner has about 30 horses training in Europe and the United States. Tanaka's runners ranked 16th in the U.S. in earnings in 2004 with more than $4 million.
Southern California-based trainer Ben Cecil, who conditioned multiple grade I winner Golden Apples when she won the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) in 2001 and the Beverly D. (gr. IT) in 2002, as well as several other Tanaka horses, agreed with Collins' assessment.
"I think everything is the same as before," Cecil said June 9. "I spoke to (Tanaka) the day before yesterday and that's what he told me--to do things just as I have been."
Cecil said he doesn't plan to start any of his current Tanaka-owned horses in the next two weeks. Don Burke II, a former Cecil assistant, trains the 6-year-old Pellegrino, who won the Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) last year. Neil Drysdale conditions the 8-year-old Sarafan.
Tanaka, a longtime resident of San Francisco who has lived in London in recent years, won't be able to see his star miler Rakti, a six-time group I winner, run June 14 at York. As part of his bail conditions, he was forced to relinquish his passport and is confined through electronic surveillance to his son's U.S. residence.
Multiple Argentine group I winner Don Incauto is among the horses Tanaka allegedly purchased using investor funds.
Another of his recent Thoroughbred purchases, the 4-year-old gelding Eccentric, won the Vodafone Rose Bowl at Epsom June 3, the day Tanaka was released on bail.
A U.S. judge has appointed a receiver to safeguard the management of Amerindo Investment Advisor assets, put at $921.5 million as of March 31. In a related development, Amerindo Technology Fund appointed Munder Capital Management of Michigan to manage the company, whose mutual fund has about $100 million in assets, Dow Jones Newswires reported June 8. Amerindo has stopped accepting new investors and has ordered a special audit of the funds.
Investors withdrew about $4.3 million from the fund the week of May 30, according to AMG Data Services, which tracks mutual funds.