Law & Order (1990) s15e22 Episode Script

Sport of Kings

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
I have to pick up my check in the morning, Doeshee.
So, you're gonna be all alone tomorrow, okay? Yeah, nice, yeah.
(sun FIRING) Barneys is good.
With avest.
You look great in a vest.
What's on the menu, Sarge? Rice and beans.
In his twenties.
Three shots to the chest.
I don't like that.
Sorry, no offense.
Who is he? No wallet, no ID.
Any cash? Just some loose change.
What do we got in the way of witnesses? Not much.
Guy upstairs heard some shots, called it in.
Him and ten other people.
All right, thanks.
We'll get a canvass going.
Cheap shoes and Kmart duds.
Not a guy you'd think be target for a robbery.
Do you see where you're headed, Falco? I had just come out to walk my dog when I heard the shots.
But you told the other officers that you were a witness.
I ran back into my vestibule.
Did you actually see anything, miss? A dead man on the sidewalk.
Well, I'm afraid that's not much help.
It's not my fault.
I've lived on this block for two years.
It seems like the cops are here every other night.
Why is that? It's mostly because of that bar down the street.
El Gato Rojo? There are fights there all the time.
Men hanging out on the sidewalk at all hours.
They really should close that place down.
(SPEAKING SPANISH) Bartender, turn down that television.
Does anyone in here recognize this man? You, sir, do you recognize this man? Nobody recognizes him, huh? Well, that's too bad.
Because this man is not going home to his family tonight.
What happened to him? He just got shot down the street from here.
Come on, somebody in here had to see something.
I was here about half an hour before the cop cars came.
There was this white guy standing out there.
What's unusual about that? He seemed nervous, like he was waiting for somebody.
Height, weight, hair color? He was wearing a jacket with a logo on the back.
What kind of logo? It was in the shape of a triangle.
But he didn't look like he was from around here.
Why's that? Well, most of the white folk around here are young.
He looked old.
Three gunshot wounds to the chest.
Looks like one went directly into his heart.
I'll know more after I open him up.
If he doesn't blow away first.
This guy looks small.
Yeah, 5'2", Yeah, but cut.
Check out his biceps and forearms.
He has calluses on both of his hands.
My guess is that he's some kind of manual laborer.
Would you do me a favor and look inside his mouth, please? Sure.
Acid erosion on his teeth.
He was bulimic.
This guy could be ajockey.
That's how a lot of them make their weight.
They regurgitate their food, and their digestive acids eat away at their teeth.
Keep us in the loop, Doc.
We've checked out every building on that block, and nobody, and I mean nobody, knows this guy.
Or that's what they're saying.
You check with Missing Persons? Yeah, we did.
We got skunk there, too.
Fontana called it.
Prints came back.
He was licensed by the State Racing Board.
Thank you very much.
Name is Oscar Salazar.
Came here last March on a visa from Panama.
You have a current address? Dorm Number Three, New York Downs Racetrack.
No betting on city time.
We' re lost! The guy said it was past Barn 22.
Where's that? Like I should know.
Keep walking.
Like another world back here.
We're looking for Dorm Number Three? You passed it.
This is gonna be hell on the Belgian loafers.
This is where Oscar sleeps.
Was he here last night? He left around 6:00 and he never came in.
Any idea where he was? No.
How about you guys? (BOTH SPEAKING SPANISH) We don't know where he is.
He never stayed out before.
Well, I'm afraid I have some bad news for you fellas.
Oscar was found dead last night.
Is this his family? Yeah, it's his wife and kids.
They're in Panama.
Oscar came here to ride.
He was a pretty big jock back home, but this is where the money is.
How was he doing? Not so good.
Oscar maybe got one or two mounts a week.
Usually a bum.
He had to hot walk and work horses just to make a few bucks to send home.
He have any trouble with anyone back here? I've never met anybody with a bigger chip on his shoulder.
He was always getting into it with somebody.
Track Security was here looking for him just a few days ago.
Yeah, that's right.
He was involved in an altercation with a trainer.
Outside the Racing Secretary's office.
A guy named Burton Fenster.
What kind of altercation? I never found out.
But a dozen people said they saw them pushing and screaming at each other.
We heard that this kid Salazar is a bit of a hothead.
Yeah, but Fenster's no bargain, either.
I mean, 95% of the trainers out here are on the up-and-up.
Fenster's in the other category.
He's been suspended twice for doping horses.
You think he'd get the message.
We test for over but there's always a new angle.
What's this guy Fenster look like? White guy, late forties.
Yeah, I had an argument with Oscar.
What of it? You mind telling us what it was about? What else? Money.
How about being more specific? He was supposed to hot walk three of my horses last Sunday.
And he didn't? He was a little confused.
Size one feet, size one brains.
We heard it turned into World War Ill.
Fifteen bucks is 15 bucks.
Hey, why all these questions about Oscar? Because he was found dead last night.
You seem real shook up about it.
Hey, it's too bad.
But around here, kids like Oscar come and go.
Yeah, what about you? Last night, were you coming or going? I tried to help this kid.
He was hungry for rides.
I'm the only trainer out here that gave him any.
You ask anybody around here, you don't believe me.
You still haven't answered his question.
I get up every morning at 4:00 a.
I was sleeping.
He gets the lay-off mix, you moron.
That's the third time I told you! It's hard to believe that this guy was Oscar's patron saint.
Let's take him up on his suggestion.
FONTANA: Good-looking animals.
That's Razputyn on the outside, Dangerous Situation on the inside.
From Caz Holliman's barn.
How do you know? You recognize a face, I recognize a horse.
They just breezed five furlongs in 58 and change.
That's pretty quick.
We heard you were the go-to guy around here.
Hey, you want tips, you gotta buy my sheet.
This is about Burton Fenster.
Don't waste your money.
Hey, do you know that he ever used a jockey named Oscar Salazar? Once in a while.
Hey, that kid's a decent rider.
He's in the top ten over at Presidente Ramon.
Can't catch a break here, although he did have a winner a few weeks ago for Fenster.
Kahuna Baby.
A maiden, never hit the board, Salazar brought him in at 24-to-one.
How much of that is the jockey? How much of that is the horse? I wouldn't be surprised if it was something completely different.
It was fixed.
Not unheard of.
How would you do such a thing? The same as Jason Giambi.
This isn't the Majors.
The horses get tested.
Not for milkshakes.
Take some sodium bicarbonate, mix it in with some Gatorade.
And what, the horse drinks it? Doesn't have to.
They stick a garden hose down its throat and pump it in.
It neutralizes the lactic acid that builds up in the horse's muscles.
So they could run all day without feeling tired.
Or until it bows a tendon and the jockey gets trampled to death.
I got a feeling that this is a lot more serious than $15.
KINNEY: That's Kahuna Baby on the lead.
He won by nine or ten lengths.
At big odds.
If he had a milkshake before the race, is there any way to tell? The only way to detect for sodium bicarbonate is before a race.
We're not equipped to do that.
How much did Salazar get for riding the winner? The winning jockey gets In this case, about $2,300.
That's not so bad.
Only that's not Oscar Salazar on the horse.
We were told he was the jockey.
He was listed in the program as the rider, but there was a jockey switch to Sam Barlow the day of the race.
It was announced on the PA at the track.
Who makes that decision? Salazar came in that morning and withdrew.
I assume that's what all the yelling and screaming between him and Fenster was about that day.
We're gonna have to get a look inside Fenster's barn right away.
I'll call Security.
There's nothing in there but rundown bandages and liniment! He's right.
Now maybe if you'd tell me what it is you're looking for Sodium bicarbonate.
Hey, so to hell! We checked the stalls, Mike.
Everything's kosher.
Is it all right with you guys if I go back to work now? What about this caddy? That's mine! Well, you don't mind if we take a look inside.
I rent stalls from this racetrack! This car is mine! You wanna look inside it, you gotta get a warrant.
Actually, I don't need one.
When you leased these stalls, you signed a consent for us to search any vehicle you bring on the grounds.
So either give us the keys, or Mr.
Tradewski here can pop the trunk for you.
Step back, Mr.
Sodium bicarbonate.
And a hose.
And now, you can come to our house for a milkshake.
So you found a hose and some baking soda in my trunk.
What's that got to do with anything? We think Salazar found out you were juicing Kahuna Baby, and that's why he withdrew from the race.
That's nuts! Now listen to me.
We know that you two had a fight before the race.
Maybe he threatened to run his mouth off.
Bring the Racing Association down on you.
A record like yours, you can't afford another violation.
For starters, no down-on-his-luck jockey is gonna blow the whistle on a milkshake.
If a horse gets him in the money, he doesn't care how it got there.
So Why'd Salazar pull out? That was my call.
The track was a little off that day.
I decided to go with a more seasoned jockey.
Sam Barlow.
How'd Salazar take that? He started screaming and hollering about how he was as good as Sam Barlow or any other jockey around here.
How'd you guys leave it? I told him if he couldn't run with the big dogs, he ought to stay on the porch.
And that was the last time I saw him.
On the night that Salazar got killed, you said that you were at home.
What'd you do? Iwent over the condition books and made some phone calls.
To who? There was this vet out at Santa Anita.
I needed to talk to him about a yearling I was looking at.
His name and number.
Tolls shows that Fenster did call California on the night of the murder.
He was on the phone from and the vet confirms it.
So, he's in the clear.
Not completely.
Racing Association is investigating the milkshake incident.
Fenster could have his stalls revoked.
Well, from what I've been reading in the papers, he'll have plenty of company.
Did Salazar have bad blood with anyone besides Fenster? Well, seems the only people he did get along with were the horses.
Well, what about that jockey Fenster mentioned? The one who took his ride on the winning horse? And took 10% of the purse.
I used to call him the Bull.
Why's that? 'Cause Oscar was impatient.
He didn't know how to wait for the hole.
He was always trying to push through.
So you two weren't exactly friends? When you're out on the track, you got no friends.
But at the end of the day, we're all in here playing Texas Hold 'em.
We heard that he didn't take it too well when you replaced him on Kahuna Baby.
He must've gotten over it because when I saw him after the race, he was pretty upbeat.
He happen to mention why? He said he'd just been promised a mount on one of Caz Holliman's horses, Razputyn.
That's that horse we saw work out the other day.
BARLOW: Oscar loved that horse.
Said Razputyn was Triple Crown material.
And I see he's on the program today, in the 70K stakes race.
And you're riding him.
Yeah, I gotta get ready.
Where can we find Mr.
Holliman? Try the paddock.
There's Holliman.
The other guy is Mr.
Varick, one of the owners.
FONTANA: Thanks, kid.
Check out the logo on back of Holliman's jacket.
The "V"? Yeah, during the day it's a At night it could be atriangle.
Come on.
Can we have a word with you? I got a race coming.
We just have a couple quick questions about Oscar Salazar.
That's okay, Caz.
I'll meet you up in the box.
Yeah, all right.
How well did you know Salazar? I hired him a couple of times as an exercise rider.
That's about it.
We heard you promised him a mount on Razputyn.
A mount? Where the hell did you hear that? Told the other jockeys.
Well, he was probably just trying to psych the other guy out.
We got a lot of Napoleon complexes around here.
So it's not true? No, absolutely not.
I don't use unproven jockeys on my horses.
Anything else? No, no, no, thank you.
How do you like your chances in this one? Might be worth a small wager.
Well, I don't think we'd really be doing ourjob if we didn't catch the race.
Bet on a suspect's horse? Don't worry, Falco.
They're not gonna throw you out of law school.
More to the point, lwouldn't want to explain it in court.
ANNOUNCER ON TV: Down the stretch, and it's Razputyn and Midnight Racer running nose and nose.
Razputyn opens up a neck.
Midnight Racer can't catch him.
And it's Razputyn across the wire.
A magnificent performance for this horse.
Winner's share was 40,000.
Four Gs to the jockey.
You say the trainer fits the description given by the witness? Same age and height.
But here's the thing.
He has ajacket with a "V"-shaped logo on it.
Which could look like a triangle in the dark.
Any history of antagonism between Holliman and Salazar? No, but there is something that doesn't add up.
Salazar told anotherjockey that he was promised a mount on Razputyn.
But Holliman denies it.
He says that the only thing he ever promised Salazar was a morning work out.
Who can clear it up? We could talk to the owner, Edgar Varick.
He was at the track with Holliman this morning.
Do it.
VARICK: When my father started Vartek, he was printing flyers for a local five-and-dime, and now we make everything, from toothpaste boxes to billboard signage.
Quite ajump from toothpaste to thoroughbreds.
Racing is my true passion.
Test is just back on the wet-strength label paper.
VARICK: It's perfect.
I'll call the distributor, tell them it's finally ready.
That's great, Ben.
This business, they want the product before the tree's out of the damn ground.
How did you know about my horses? We caught Razputyn's last race.
That horse has a lot of guts.
Yeah, he's won three out of seven so far.
My secretary calls this my ego wall.
There's nothing like seeing a horse you own thundering toward the wire.
Very impressive.
Do you weigh in on jockey selection? Nah, that's strictly Caz Holliman's domain.
So you didn't tell Oscar Salazar he could ride Razputyn? I didn't even know Salazar.
FONTANA: Well, how about Holliman, did he ever mention using Salazar? VARICK: Not that I recall, no.
You mind if I take this? It's an old Racing Form, but sure, help yourself.
I get down to the track once in awhile.
Thought I might bone up.
What was that all about? That's a picture of Razputyn in the winner's circle.
Check out the groom.
He was one of Salazar's roommates.
I remember asking this guy about Salazar's whereabouts on the night of the murder, and that he didn't have too much to say.
Because he's on Holliman's payroll.
Do you think he's protecting him? I think you don't bite the hand that feeds you.
I think you might be right.
Caz Holliman's the best, you know.
I've been with him five years.
How did he get along with Oscar Salazar? No problems, you know? Oscar did morning workouts for him.
On Razputyn? Yeah.
Oscar loved that horse.
Yeah, we heard Holliman promised Oscar a mount on Razputyn.
Do you know anything about that? Not really.
Well, that doesn't sound too convincing.
You know what I heard? I heard that the weather in Central America is gorgeous this time of the year.
And that's right where you're going unless you tell us something.
I don't know for sure if Mr.
Holliman promised Oscar.
I just know they were gonna talk about it.
Oscar tell you that? Mr.
Holliman did.
He was looking for Oscar, he couldn't find him, so he gave me the message.
FALCO: What message? Mr.
Holliman told me to tell Oscar to be at El Gato Rojo to talk about Razputyn.
He was gonna meet Salazar there? At 10:00.
The night Oscar was killed.
I didn't murder Oscar Salazar! You lied to us about promising him a mount on Razputyn, and you set up the meet at the bar where he was killed.
And you fit the description given to us by an eyewitness.
Right now, I'd say you're our frontrunner.
Actually, you're the only runner, and if you don't tell us something in the next three minutes to change our minds, you're gonna get charged with murder.
All right, yeah, I set up the meeting.
But it wasn't with me.
Well, who was it with? Mr.
He said he wanted to talk to Salazar.
About what? Varick told everybody he bought Razputyn in Dubai for 28 grand.
But anybody who had ever ridden that horse knew he was worth maybe a hundred times that.
Including Salazar.
After his first exercise ride, he came back to the barn and said that was the fastest three-year-old he'd ever been on.
So why didn't he win more races? Because Varick instructed me to hold him back.
He didn't want anybody to know good Razputyn really was.
Well, what happened with Salazar? He got it into his head if he could just get a mount on Razputyn, it would turn his whole career around.
He got to be a real pain in the ass about it.
So what'd he do, confront Varick personally? Once he realized he wasn't gonna get his shot, he started snooping around.
He wrote to the Panamanian Racing Commissioner and asked for information about Razputyn's bloodlines.
Me and Varick got a letter informing us of the request.
Varick hit the roof.
You still have the letter? Yeah, it's back at the barn.
It's all yours if you want it.
He said he just wanted to talk some sense into the kid.
I feel bad about Oscar, I really do.
I had no idea anything like this was gonna happen.
Nobody ever does.
Varick! What are you doing here? You won't be needing this.
What in the hell is going on? You're coming with us.
I can't leave, I'm hosting this party.
We'll make sure you get a doggie bag.
And don't tell me I can't eat on the job, either.
Take your time, Mr.
Delgado, and tell us if you recognize anyone.
Or if you don't.
Make sure you look one end to the other.
Okay, that's him Number One.
Where do you recognize him from? That's the guy I saw outside El Gato Rojo.
"Docket 05937.
"People v.
Edgar Varick, charge is murder in the second degree.
" JUDGE: How does the defendant plead? Not guilty, Your Honor.
People on bail, Ms.
Borgia? The People seek remand.
That's outrageous! My client is a respectable and well-known figure in his community.
Who arranged to meet with the victim at an out-of-the-way bar and then lurked under a street lamp until he arrived.
HAMMOND: Your Honor, Mr.
Varick is the CEO of an established family business, with over 300 employees whom he is loyal to.
He is not going anywhere.
Bail's set at one million.
Motion's referred to the trial part.
(BANGS GAVEL) Varick made bail before the bus left for Rikers.
Well, I've come across a few horse people in my day, and I don't recall any of that didn't want their horse to win, unless they were neck-deep in some gambling scheme.
If the bettor wins big, doesn't the track have to file with the IRS? They never filed anything forVarick.
And I talked to some of his friends, he's not a gambler.
What other reason would he have to misrepresent his horse's abilities? That's what Oscar Salazar was trying to figure out.
Well, you look into bloodlines when you wanna know a horse's lineage.
His sire.
His dam.
Maybe Razputyn isn't Razputyn.
The trainer told us everything he knows.
Go down the food chain.
Try the jockey.
Look, I don't know anything about this.
Holliman told me to get the horse stuck in traffic, that's what I did.
And you never bothered to ask why? I get maybe 15 rides a week from Holliman's barn.
There are other riders out there getting four or five a month.
Like Oscar Salazar? Yeah, like Oscar.
Oscar thought Razputyn was something pretty special.
That horse could win any race he's in.
That's quite an endorsement.
You might not notice from the stands, but when you're sitting in the saddle, you feel it.
So how did Edgar Varick get him at a bargain basement price? I can't answer that.
Can't or won't? I just try to get the horse in the winner's circle, ma'am.
You want the dollars and cents, check with Varick's insurance.
Razputyn was purchased from Sheik Ahmed Zahariou at private treaty last year in Dubai.
Private treaty? A private sale.
What was the purchase price? I'm not permitted to reveal that information to any person who's not a named insured.
What if that person has access to a subpoena? $3 million.
Varick told the Jockey Club he bought Razputyn for 28 thousand.
Well, he can tell the Jockey Club whatever he wants.
They don't have to reimburse him in the event of horse's death or injury.
So, you're saying Varick insured the horse for three million as well? That's right.
We only write policies for actual cash value.
I have the bill of sale here in the file.
It's in Arabic.
Varick paid twelve million dirhams.
Turns out the $28,000 champion is a myth.
Varick paid just over $3 million for that horse.
But we don't know why he lied about it.
This might explain it.
From his bank statements, there's no record he even bought a horse.
There are no withdrawals corresponding to the amount of purchase, or the date.
Maybe he had a little something stashed away under the mattress.
His account balances are practically nil.
He barely even has enough to cover his monthly condo fee.
So, where did he get the money to buy a $3 million horse? Maybe he did it the old-fashioned way.
Family money.
First, there was sky diving, now it's racehorses.
I was thinking you were involved with his horses, financially.
Why would you think that, Ms.
Borgia? But if I can be honest, Mrs.
Varick, we don't understand how else your son could afford it.
Oh, he explained all that to me.
It's not that expensive.
You don't really think that he had anything to do with this man's death, do you? Right now, we're just trying to put the pieces together.
Well, I'm sure that this won't amount to anything.
When Edgar's father passed away, did your son receive a windfall of any kind? An inheritance? No.
My late husband believed that Edgar should earn his own way in life.
And he thought Vartek would give him that opportunity.
Lewis founded the company in 1959.
No formal education, plenty of street smarts, and we invested everything we had back into the company, which wasn't much.
Lewis, he worked seven days a week for over 40 years.
And then he passed the company on to your son.
Well, he put Edgar in charge.
But, actually, I am the sole shareholder.
Edgar assumes ownership after my death.
So, do you have any involvement with the company now, Mrs.
Varick? Not really, only as Trustee for the Employees' Pension Fund.
The pension fund? My husband started it for the workers.
Some of them have been with the company since we started.
Edgar comes by every now and then with all these papers for me to sign.
It's the only time I see him these days.
Besides you, is anyone else involved with the pension fund? There is one other trustee, Ben Shaney.
He was Lewis' foreman for 42 years.
When Edgar told me we needed to move the money to a mutual fund, it sounded like a good idea.
I'm not a banker, Mr.
I run the production line.
He never explained why he was making these pension fund transfers? Something to do about a better return.
Does this have something to do with this crazy case you have against him? Last February, Mr.
Varick went to Dubai.
There was a convention.
Converted paper products.
He also bought a racehorse while he was there.
That's right, Razputyn.
BORGIA: Did he happen to tell you how much he paid for that horse? It was none of my business.
$3 million.
Three million? Are you kidding? We have documentation.
Oh, company profits have been down the last few years.
Edgar hasn't even taken a salary so we could make payroll.
Where's he going to come up with $3 million? You signed the papers for the Pension Fund.
Weren't you suspicious? Now, wait.
What are you What are you saying? That Edgar took our money? You ever wonder how he afforded his lifestyle? Well, I figured his old man left him something.
Not a penny.
He just let his son run the company.
There are 300 employees depending on that money.
Are you telling me it's all gone? A big chunk of it.
We don't have the final figures yet.
We've been building that plan for 40 years.
If that money's gone, what are we gonna do? That's our retirement.
It's all we've got.
I'm sorry.
How does anyone have the gall to take people's retirement money and buy a racehorse? Razputyn was the tip of the iceberg, Arthur.
Over the past few years, Varick treated himself to six other horses, a 40-foot sailboat, a Jackson Pollack, all courtesy of the Vartek Pension Fund.
How'd he pull it off? Once the Trustees signed off, most of the money was transferred into a mutual fund in the name of the pension.
But there was a revolving sell order which diverted the proceeds into a bank account in Delaware, which Varick could access.
To the tune of $90,000 a week for the past three years.
Well, make sure you add first degree grand larceny to the indictment.
How'd the horse figure in the murder? It would've raised eyebrows if Varick had come back from the convention with a $3 million horse, so he said he bought it the cheap.
He's been gradually moving it up under the radar into some major races.
Until Oscar Salazar exercised the horse.
He started asking questions which would have led to the pension fund.
Varick killed a hard-working immigrant in order to conceal his greed.
In addition to a life sentence, I'd like to see this guy hauled out in stocks in Foley Square.
A preclusion motion from Varick.
The D.
's notice of physical evidence is very impressive, Judge.
Horses, cars, boats, paintings.
Too bad none of it is relevant.
Every item was a separate theft Mr.
Varick had reason to hide.
He's not charged with any of these larcenies.
This is nothing but athinly-veiled attempt to prejudice the jury by portraying my client's lifestyle as excessive.
The defendant had no qualms about flaunting his lifestyle until it became clear it was financed from his employees' retirement account! And Oscar Salazar was unaware of any of this.
But your case, Mr.
McCoy, is based upon the premise that the victim suspected some hanky-panky with the horse? That's correct, Your Honor.
It's a close question, but I'm giving the defense this one.
I'm precluding the introduction of any evidence of Mr.
Varick's lavish purchases, except Razputyn.
The next one this tight might not go your way, Ms.
I was meeting some friends at El Gato Rojo.
As I turned onto Delancey, I saw a man standing around.
What do you mean when you say "standing around," Mr.
Delgado? Like he was waiting for somebody.
Do you see the man in court today? That's him.
What was he wearing? A jacket with a "V" on it.
I show you People's Seven, which police recovered from the defendant's home.
Is this the jacket that you saw, Mr.
Delgado? That's it.
When you talked to the police, you were at a bar, Mr.
Delgado? Yes.
You had a few drinks in you? Beer.
You told the police the logo you saw was a triangle, not a If you couldn't distinguish what a first-grader could have, what makes you think you could identify the man's face? Objection.
Nothing further.
Varick came back from a trip to Dubai and told me he'd bought a horse.
Three-year-old named Razputyn.
Had it shipped to my barn here in New York.
What did he say about the horse? He said he'd watched it run.
That the sky was the limit.
But that there was a specific training strategy he wanted to follow.
Which was what, Mr.
Holliman? Which was to only enter Razputyn in soft races at first, and then to gradually move him into stiffer competition.
He didn't want anybody to know how good the horse really was.
Did he tell you why? He didn't say.
So, how was this strategy accomplished? I told myjockey to do whatever he needed to do to hold the horse back without getting caught.
Even then, Razputyn still won three of his first seven races.
Did Oscar Salazar ever ride Razputyn? Not in a race.
I used Oscar a few times in the morning to work the horse when my regular jockey was sick.
What, if anything, did Mr.
Salazar say to you after riding Razputyn? He begged me to let him ride Razputyn in a race.
How did you respond to these requests? I kept putting him off.
I told Oscar it was up to Mr.
After awhile, he started getting pushy.
He said that he knew we were up to something, and that he was gonna to tell somebody.
What happened? A couple of weeks later, Mr.
Varick called me and said that he wanted to talk to Oscar about Razputyn.
Said to have Oscar meet him at this bar downtown.
I had one of my grooms relay the message.
Was that the night Oscar was murdered? Yeah.
So, let me understand this, Mr.
You admit that you cheated by holding Razputyn back? Yeah.
And you are the one who personally told the jockey not to win? Yes.
And you were the one who Oscar Salazar was angry with? Right, but And you were the one who sent him to the location where he was killed? Yeah, but I wasn't there.
So you say.
Do you own a jacket with the Vartek racing stable logo on it? Of course I do.
So, other than the word of an admitted cheater, do we have one iota of proof that my client did the things you say he did? The transfers from the Vartek Pension Fund were authorized by its two Trustees, my mother and Ben Shaney.
HAMMOND: Were the monies used to buy Razputyn? They were, but you have to understand, that transaction was for investment purposes.
I wanted the employees of Vartek to reap the appreciation in value of the horse.
Did you intend to steal from the pension fund, Mr.
Varick? That is the last thing I would ever do.
Many of these people were with my father when he started the company.
So how do you account for your actions? I know I cut a few administrative corners, but when it comes to the welfare of my workers, I'm not conservative.
The return on the Vartek pension fund was averaging less than 2%.
And when I saw this horse, I knew that I could double, or even triple, our money.
For God's sake, Smarty Jones was syndicated for$39 million after only two years of racing.
You heard Caz Holliman's testimony that you instructed him to hold back Razputyn to disguise his value.
And that's completely false.
I think it was some kind of betting scam Caz was operating to run up the odds for one big score.
And as far as Oscar Salazar, Mr.
Varick? I never met the fellow.
I had nothing against him.
And I did not kill him.
Are you seriously telling this jury that you considered a racehorse to be a sound investment for your employees' retirement money? Before I bought Razputyn, I did extensive research on his bloodlines.
I had x-rays taken of his legs to detect any injuries.
I consulted with a preeminent veterinarian in Dubai on the horse's confirmation.
If Razputyn belonged to your employees, why did you race the horse in your own name? A pension fund can't get an owner's license in New York, Mr.
If you'd done your homework, you'd know that.
Well, that's convenient, Mr.
So, you were able to use your expertise in these matters to conceal your thievery? Objection! JUDGE: Sustained.
You under-reported the price of the horse! It's common practice in the industry.
No one wants to publicize what they paid for an animal in a private sale.
It's part of the game.
JACK: Of deceiving the public? I may have misled the Jockey Club.
But I insured the horse for what I paid so that none of my employees would lose a penny of their money in the case of an injury.
What about the fancy parties you threw with our pension money? (JUDGE BANGING GAVEL) And the yacht you took to the Caribbean? Please, sir, sit down and be quiet.
You're a thief, Edgar! Athief! JUDGE: Remove him from the courtroom! And your father Your father would roll over in his grave if he knew what you were doing to us! Come up! Well, that was end run around the Court's ruling.
Which the prosecution knew absolutely nothing about.
Oh, I'm sure.
I'm moving for a mistrial.
A curative instruction will suffice, here, Judge.
We'll let the jury go home for the day.
I am loath to derail this trial because of this, but I will hear your arguments at 09:30 tomorrow morning.
I just lost my head.
Sitting there, watching Edgar lie like that.
I know it's upsetting, but you can't just All that bull about the welfare of the employees.
It's just one big snowjob.
A cross-examination is complicated, Mr.
Shaney, the first few questions often lay a trap for later.
I'm sorry.
I should have just let you do your job.
Yes, you should have! Very poorjudgment on your part.
It's 11:10, Ms.
Where's your client? I don't know, Your Honor.
He hasn't answered any of the numbers we have for him.
Have you sent someone to his home? And his place of business.
We still can't find him.
Our detectives have checked the morgue, they've checked every hospital in the borough, and they've sent local police to his mother's house.
JUDGE: So, what's your pleasure, Counselors? Apparently, Mr.
Varick has fled.
Since he voluntarily absented himself from his trial, he shouldn't be able to claim it's unfair.
Your Honor should deny his motion for a mistrial.
And what then, Mr.
McCoy? Continue the trial in absentia.
If Mr.
Shaney's outburst was prejudicial before, it's doubly so if it appears to the jury that my client was driven from this courtroom.
The defendant should have thought of that before he ran.
This is a pattern with Mr.
Varick, profiting from his own malfeasance, and it's time for it to stop.
As much as I would like to continue without Mr.
Varick, lam going to play it safe.
I'm declaring a mistrial, a bench warrant is ordered.
(BANGS GAVEL) Anything new? They found Varick's Mercedes in a lot at JFK.
I'm checking with the FAA, they should be able to track his passport and find out where he's headed JACK: I doubt if he'd use his own.
But don't put away the file.
Notice the defense for a motion pursuant to Penal Law Article 450.
And call the NYPD Mounted Unit.
They must have a spare horse trailer.
The People have no right to dispose of stolen property until there is an adjudication that it is, in fact, stolen! That's not what the statute says.
It allows the District Attorney to restore stolen property to the lawful owner upon written notification to the defendant.
Who is not here to challenge the allegation.
Because he fled thejurisdiction, his car was found at JFK.
Your Honor, this so-called stolen property, it's not even in the D.
's possession.
At 6:00 this morning, Razputyn was seized from Caz Holliman's barn and placed in a police vehicle.
It is our further intention to seize every item in Mr.
Varick's possession, since he began looting his company's pension account.
From the racing stable down to his martini shaker.
For spite? To restore Vartek's Pension Plan.
Your Honor, the tail is wagging the dog here.
If Mr.
Varick has a problem with the People's application, he has 48 hours to appear and convince me why I shouldn't grant it.
So what now, Jack? Auction off Razputyn to recoup the pension money? That'll be up to the Trustees, it's their horse.
Are you kidding? Uh, hold on.
They found Varick.
We towed the car in from JFK.
Finally got around to doing an inventory.
FONTANA: Here lies Edgar Varick.
One in the head.
How many people did this guy screw over at his company? Three hundred.
Throw in the family and friends of Oscar Salazar, that's a lot of suspects.
And a lot of justice.