Florida Woman Arrested After Allegedly Stealing and Trying To Auction The Preakness Cup

Delray Police Department

Alicia Murphy, 60, is under arrest for allegedly stealing the 1969 Preakness Stakes trophy.  The trophy belonged to the wealthy owner of Majestic Prince and was stolen from a storage facility in Delray Beach, Florida. It is a curious item to steal since it would be immediately recognizable in any attempt to pawn or fence.  It was among hundreds of items stolen from the facility. Police stated that the trophy was immediately recognized and reported by an auction house.

Murphy rented a a unit at the facility before allegedly breaking into multiple units. According to police, “Murphy sent the Preakness Cup and other mementos from the 1969 race to an auction house in New York that specializes in sports memorabilia. The auction company had already given Murphy a $15,000 advance on the cup.” That is the problem in stealing such historical items unless there is a dealer who simply wants to keep a stolen item for personal enjoyment but out of the public eye.

Murphy now faces burglary charges in addition to multiple prior offenses, including grand theft and fraud (for which she served time in 2005).  This could be Murphy’s own triple crown if she is sentenced as a habitual offender.

22 thoughts on “Florida Woman Arrested After Allegedly Stealing and Trying To Auction The Preakness Cup”

  1. The Leland auction galleries been in business for many years I’m sure they thoroughly investigated it make sure that it wasn’t stolen that they had some kind of legitimate documentation to prove that the supposedly Thief was the owner of the trophy before advancing $15,000 they wouldn’t have been in business as long as they would do stupid things like that they didn’t have proper documentation. Is it possible that the dummy that supposedly put $300,000 worth of property a storage that someone could get to easily. Something don’t sound right here.

  2. Why didn’t she try to steal the Stanley Cup? Wouldn’t that fetch more money. I mean who’d know.

  3. I am not sure why the auction house would advance her $15K on the cup if it was stolen.

    1. Because it was worth a lot more than that. And, they POSSIBLY had past dealings with her, without the Robbery Division visiting them. Criminals learn work arounds. If your local police makes the pawn shops get ID, and keep records, so they can cross check property with robberies, then what is one to do with hot merchandise???

      Let it accumulate, and then make a run to another state! That is why when you see some of these thieves get busted, their houses are full of stolen merchandise. They haven’t made the run to Michigan yet. Or New Mexico. Or Kentucky. Whatever.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  4. First, what the heck was the Preakness Cup doing in a storage locker??? Isn’t there always some nook to store your historical trophies?

    Second, Majestic Prince was ruined for racing trying to sweep the Triple Crown. He won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. He was unbeaten, but his trainer advised against racing him in the Belmont Stakes. Sure enough, he was injured, although he managed to finish 2nd. He never raced again. Contrary to many other race horses to which that phrase applies, he lived out the rest of his life as a successful sire.

    TBs have some issues with their bone structure and training methods, and there have been a suspicious level of stress fractures and total breakdowns on the rise at the tracks.

    Since Majestic Prince’s racing career was finished, the least they could do was preserve and honor the dang cup.

    Which brings me to the fact that there are bad people who live among us. They feel entitled to prey upon other people as a way to get ahead. They constantly blow up their own lives, don’t learn from their first arrest, and most likely blame everyone else but themselves. This lady didn’t just steel cash, which has no sentimental value and its loss is purely financial and opportunity cost. She stole memories which cannot be replaced. I wonder if they recovered all that she stole, or if some was already fenced and gone forever.


    1. For your viewing pleasure is the red laddie Majestic Prince, battling for that win at the Preakness, his last unbeaten race.

      Mind you, it took from 1948 to 1971 for there to be a Triple Crown horse at all, which I believe was Secretariat.

    2. Just a side note: If Majestic Prince was seriously hurt he wouldn’t have run 2d in the Belmont. Elite horses earn much more money breeding than racing and owners of such horse are very quick to retire them to stud. After establishing himself as a superstar by winning the Derby & Preakness his handlers tried for the triple crown and just missed. It was the perfect time to send him to the breeding farm. His injury was probably only career ending because his owners wanted it to be.

      1. He wasn’t hurt in the Preakness. He had a career ending injury in the Belmont and never raced again. He was still able to finish 2nd. You would think that they would take more care not to push horses too hard, but it happens.

        He didn’t break a leg in the Belmont, because he was able to live until 15 and sire offspring. It can be a bowed tendon, tore a meniscus, or some other soft tissue injury that finished him.

        There is no real longevity to a race horse’s career. They’re finished in just a couple of years. Plus, if you want to race a stallion past the age of 3, you geld him so he doesn’t go out there and turn a race into bloodsport. So there is no real payback to hold back unless you think you’ll end the season really early or miss an important race.

        The trainer said Majestic Prince was too tired after the previous 2 races to run in the Belmont. That’s often a euphemism for oh crap, I think he’s developed a vulnerability and we shouldn’t push him.

        I grew up hunter/jumper. That’s where we got cheap horses, from the track. They aged out of the track at 5, or we bought them off the slaughter truck, or they had an injury that kept them from winning but it would heal up in a while when they were too old to race. They were girthy (they’d pin their ears and sometimes even bite when girthed up because they’d been gut busted), bolters (taking off at everything with no brakes), and had behavioral issues. That said, there are indeed trainers and grooms who absolutely adore their horses. Not all broken down racehorses go to the slaughter houses, but there are so many that do that it’s effectively shortened the average lifespan of the entire Thoroughbred breed. I love to watch horse racing, but I think the sport needs to take better care of its athletes, stop breeding horses with soundness problems, and stop being the feeder to slaughterhouses.

        1. I forgot to mention that, as a nod to the kind trainers out there, I got a beloved horse of mine many years ago off the track. He was the only off-track horse who would let me touch his ears, wasn’t girthy, and was lacking many of the behavioral problems of your typical race horse. He was clearly handled with love.

          However, I bought him from a broker who gave race horses 2 weeks to be sold and then slipped them off to slaughter. He had won his last race. However, he was aging out, so his owner got rid of him the next day. Sometimes the trainers are far more attached to the horses than the owners. My horse had a few days left and then he’d go to slaughter. I suppose I should have been grateful that the owner didn’t just ship him straight there. He was a determined bolter in the beginning, but it wasn’t usually from a spook. He just loved to run.

          Later, I tracked down the owner to get his papers, and visited his section of the barn at the track. All of the horses there were friendly, liked people, and showed the same kind hand as my own. You can see the trainer’s tracks on the horses who go through his barn.

          It’s hard on any animal when they are a business rather than a pet.

            1. No kidding, right? Don’t get attached to steers on a beef ranch.

              I helped out at a branding/vaccination on a cattle ranch. I decided that if the bull really wants to go one way, who am I to contravene? I have no idea what I’m doing around cattle, and they know it.

              1. Karen – if it makes you feel any better, the cattle don’t know what they are doing either. 😉 They are mindless twits.

                1. Plus the calves stick their tongues way up their own noses and eat the boogers all day…

                  1. First, what is “gut busted”?
                    Second, we raise cattle, and have determined that our steers really only have 2 bad days in their life – when they’re cut, and when they’re killed. The rest of the time they’re perfectly happy lolling about in our pretty pastures, eating our tasty hay.

                    1. Hi FFS:

                      My friend who raises hogs says the same things about them, too, except she says hers only have one bad day. You’re lucky you have nice green pastures. It’s dry in CA.

                      The overwhelming majority of TB off the track are girthy. Since you raise cattle, you probably know what that is, but for those who don’t, it’s when a horse pins his ears, wrings his tail, bares his teeth, and/or snakes around to bite when you try to girth him up. They can also bloat, which is when they expand their ribcage when you girth, so that when they relax, they’ve got room.

                      We used to say a TB was girthy because he had been gut busted – they would cinch him up too tight, too fast. Racehorses often have ulcers, and can be sore. Girthing them with too much force can really not go over well if they are sore at all. There are probably other causes of this, as well, but most race horses have this behavioral problem off the track.

                      When I tack up my horses, I girth them really loose, and then go up a hole at a time as I continue getting ready. It makes them more relaxed and they don’t try to bloat.

      1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. They are beautiful when they are running flat out and thundering by.

  5. It is late at night. I have less tolerance and have just puked after looking at that photo of ugly itchBay. Tone it down. Jeso. She is uglier than Hillary.

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