07/25/2002 11:00PM

Man guilty in Calder ringer case


MIAMI - Kelly Winter was convicted Thursday in Miami for his part in running a ringer in the 10th race at Calder on July 17, 1998. Sentencing for conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and interstate transportation of a counterfeit foal certificate is set for Oct. 15.

Winter faces up to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the scheme, in which he and his brother Floyd Winter ran Forty Two, a stakes winner in New Mexico, under the name of Almost Impossible, a first-time starter, in a maiden race at Calder. Almost Impossible won the race and paid $10. Floyd Winter, Kelly Winter's half-brother, pleaded guilty earlier in the investigation to lesser charges in exchange for his testimony. Federal prosectuors claim the men and their associates made as much as $280,000 from bets placed on Almost Impossible.

A third brother, Emmett Winter, was listed as the owner of Almost Impossible for the race at Calder. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

The scheme was not uncovered until the men attempted a similar scam in a maiden race at Philadelphia Park two months later, where they tried to run Forty Two under the name of Swing a Tune. The impostor horse was discovered by the track's horse identifier.