04/09/2009 12:00AM

Receiver to hold Einstein purse


A Kentucky judge on Wednesday ordered that the earnings from Einstein's victory in the March 7 Santa Anita Handicap be placed with a court-appointed receiver who is overseeing assets held by the horse's two owners, according to officials involved in the case.

Judge Roger Crittenden of Franklin County Circuit Court made the ruling after hearing from attorneys representing the two owners, Lexington lawyers William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., and the lawyers' former clients. The clients won a $42 million civil judgment against Gallion, Cunningham, and a third lawyer, Melbourne Mills Jr., last year, but have so far been unable to collect the judgment.

The receiver was appointed last year by Crittenden to oversee the assets controlled by Gallion and Cunningham. Einstein's earnings from the Santa Anita Handicap were $480,000, when subtracting the cuts for his trainer and jockey. Crittenden ruled that the money could be used to pay expenses related to the care of horses owned by the two lawyers, but capped the amount at $50,000.

Angela Ford, the attorney who represents the former clients, had placed a lien and garnishment on Einstein's purse winnings after the horse won the race, in an effort to block the distribution of the money directly to Gallion and Cunningham. The two lawyers were convicted last week on eight criminal counts each of conspiracy and wire fraud related to a $200 million settlement with the manufacturer of the diet-drug combination fen-phen.