My OTTB hunter's tattoo is illegible. His former owners told me his registered name. I've looked him up on pedigreequery.com and the stats basically match (color, sex, etc.) but with a 1-year discrepancy on his age.
Is there any way to confirm that he is, in fact, who I was told he is?
Pedigreequery isn't always accurate, as the data is entered by owners etc, not the jockey club. Try checking brisnet.com (follow the pedigree search/info prompts; free search) or equibase.com, which are part of the jockey club's database. Not only can you find info about pedigree, but also the horse's racing career.
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
If you want an absolutely ironclad verification, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) is the group that puts the tattoos on, verifies all the markings with the Jockey Club, and also verifies that the horses are who they are supposed to be at the track. They won't tattoo a horse without an ironclad ID which they keep in their records. You can pay them some money (not much), send them complete photos of the horse, showing all its markings and whorls, and a photo of the tattoo as it is now. You'll need help to lift the lip and you want as close a closeup of the tattoo as you can get. Sometimes it takes two shots to get the whole tattoo.
Sometimes a blacklight will make a tattoo more readable, but the TRPB can go from the photo that you send.