Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

"Unbridled Greed"

Cashing In

Alydar's death, by itself, whether caused by accident or intentionally orchestrated, didn't do anything to change Calumet's financial situation. Lundy needed cash, and a lot of it, or he was going to lose everything.

"Not long after the last shovel of dirt was put on Alydar's grave, Lundy was filing insurance claims," Dominick Dunne said.

One of Alydar's insurance carriers, Golden Eagle, had notified Lundy just a few weeks before Alydar's death that it was not going to renew the horse's multi-million dollar policy when it expired in December. Company officials cited Calumet's consistently late premium payments as the reason for the cancellation.

Within a month, however, both of Alydar's insurance carriers, Lloyd's of London and Golden Eagle, paid off in full, despite the suspicions swirling around the horse's death. The total was $36.5 million, the largest thoroughbred life insurance payout in history.

"It was as if those who made a living off the big horse farms — like the insurance adjusters and the veterinarians — realized it was not in their best interests to rock the boat," Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Tomala told Texas Monthly. "Why risk losing any future business by asking too many questions? There was this fear that a scandal about Alydar would deeply hurt the public's perception of horse racing, so people started circling the wagons."

Just before his February 28, 1991, loan payment deadline, Lundy paid First City National Bank $15 million.

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