11/06/2002 12:00AM

Pick six inquiry deepens


NEW YORK - The third person to be identified as a target of investigators in the ongoing Breeders' Cup pick six investigation was a fraternity brother of the other two suspects, according to records at Drexel University, where all three attended college.

The third suspect, Glen DaSilva, 29, attended Drexel from September 1991 until March 1997, majoring in business administration and marketing, the school records showed. He did not graduate. He was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, as were the other two suspects, Derek Davis and Chris Harn, both 29.

The records were provided by the school's student administrative services department. Phone calls to the fraternity went unanswered on Wednesday.

Harn was fired from his job as a senior programmer at Autotote on Oct. 31 after five years at the company. Davis placed the disputed bet on the Breeders' Cup pick six from Maryland through a telephone betting account he had recently opened at Catskill Off-Track Betting Corporation in New York.

DaSilva emerged as a third suspect in the investigation on Tuesday after Don Groth, the chairman of Catskill OTB, said he turned over to investigators on Oct. 28 the name of a Catskill account holder who made frequent wagers before the Breeders' Cup. Groth would not identify the person on Tuesday or Wednesday.

But DaSilva's identity was confirmed by several other racing officials after being presented with information from Drexel's records about student enrollment.

According to racing officials, investigators are searching the Catskill records to determine whether DaSilva placed pick six bets similar in structure to the disputed Breeders' Cup ticket, which used one horse in each of the first four races and every horse in the last two races.

Efforts to obtain a home address or telephone number for DaSilva were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

No one has been charged in the investigation, and lawyers for Harn and Davis have said their clients will be cleared of wrongdoing.

A person close to Harn said on Wednesday that an official of the New York State Police contacted Harn's attorney, Dan Conti, over the weekend. Conti declined to comment on Wednesday.

The person said that a reporter has staked out Harn's house in an attempt to get a photograph, and that he is being hounded by the media.

"His life has been turned completely upside down," the person said. "He's very upset."

The attorney for Davis, Steve A. Allen, said on Wednesday that "nothing has changed" since he made comments last Friday stating that his client would be cleared.

DaSilva's emergence as a suspect capped several developments related to the investigation, which was started on Oct. 27 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. The investigation has generated concern over the security of parimutuel pools and betting information.

On Wednesday, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the sport's self-styled league office, announced that it has hired a security consulting unit of the auditing firm Ernst and Young to study the industry's tote companies and security controls. In a statement, the NTRA said that officials at Ernst and Young began to collect information on Wednesday from tote representatives and racetracks. The study will take four weeks, the statement said.

Also on Wednesday, officials from Magna Entertainment, Churchill Downs Inc., and the New York Racing Association met with officials from the three tote companies that service tracks in the United States: Autotote, Amtote, and United Tote. The meeting was called to review security procedures and other issues underlying the investigation. Magna, Churchill, and NYRA operate more than 20 racetracks that account for more than two-thirds of the national handle.

Concerns about the security controls employed by tote companies have been raised because of the way the pick six bet was allegedly altered. Investigators believe that Harn was able to alter the ticket by taking advantage of security loopholes in Autotote's computer system, including a gap that leaves pick six and other betting information at wagering vulenerable for hours at a time after races in the bets have already been run. Catskill OTB has several security gaps as well, officials have said.

Racing officials have said that Autotote's system lacked controls to monitor the activities of its own technicians, creating difficulties for investigators looking for evidence of manipulation. At Catskill, Groth acknowledged last week that the OTB company did not install a security device that would have produced an audio recording of the touch-tone bet that Davis placed on the wager.

Concern over security gaps has raised the possiblity that other bets could have been tampered with.

Two pick six bets that were questioned took place at Saratoga Race Course last summer. But investigators have concluded that those two pick six tickets were legitimate and were not connected to the suspects in the disputed Breeders' Cup pick six ticket, according to New York Racing Association officials. NYRA officials asked the New York wagering board to look into the tickets several days after the board's Breeders' Cup investigation was launched.

At Arlington Park in Chicago, site of the Breeders' Cup onOct. 26 and the national hub for Cup bets, mutuel officials have begun asking wagering sites to forward the identities of people who cashed consolation tickets on the Breeders' Cup pick six, racetrack officials said on Wednesday. The identities of the ticket-holders would be on file at wagering sites because the winners would have had to sign tax forms in order to collect the payoff, which at $4,606.20 was well above the IRS limit of $600 on a $2 ticket.

The disputed pick six ticket had 108 of the 186 consolation winners, leaving 78 held by other ticket-holders. If the disputed tickets are voided, then the 78 consolation ticket-holders stand to collect about $39,000 each, officials have said.

According to racing officials, the request by Arlington is not an indication that the disputed ticket has been voided or that the investigation has reached the stage where it is likely the ticket will be voided. Instead, the request represents an effort to be able to act quickly should the disputed ticket eventually be canceled, a Breeders' Cup official said.

"No deal has been struck, as far as we know," said the official, who asked not to be named. "Is Breeders' Cup doing something that is probably wise? Sure."

Under Breeders' Cup rules, in the event that no one has six winners, the entire pool is paid out to ticket-holders with five of six winners. Any tickets with four of six winners would not receive any money unless no tickets had five of six, the rules state.