Suspected Sponger Still At Large

The federal probe into the sponging incidents at Kentucky racetracks over the past two years could lead to the indictment of more individuals than William Michael McCandless, the Tennessee man charged in the case. The

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The federal probe into the sponging incidents at Kentucky racetracks over the past two years could lead to the indictment of more individuals than William Michael McCandless, the Tennessee man charged in the case. The possibility of more than one person being involved in the sponging emerged as details of how the FBI was led to McCandless became public.


McCandless, 51, who previously served a federal prison sentence after being convicted in the 1977 theft of the Canadian champion mare Fanfreluche, remained at large as of May 10. The Hendersonville, Tenn., man was indicted on six felony charges associated with the sponging incidents. Along with the Fanfreluche conviction, McCandless reportedly has served eight years in prison after being convicted of drug charges and being involved with an interstate farm equipment theft ring.


The trail that led to the sponging indictments began at a horsemen’s picnic at Ellis Park last August.


At that event, Marty Maline, executive director of the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, said he was approached by a man who said a friend had personal knowledge of the sponging and the individuals involved. Maline’s contact was seeking legal assistance on behalf of his friend

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