02/23/2015 2:28PM

Trainer Wells gets six months for race fixing


David Wells, the former trainer of the Eclipse Award-winning gelding Rapid Redux, was sentenced on Monday by a Pennsylvania court to six months in incarceration as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to one charge of rigging a publicly exhibited contest, according to Pennsylvania news outlets.

Wells, who has been suspended since late 2013, when federal prosecutors arrested the trainer at Penn National, will serve the first three months of the sentence at a Dauphin County prison and the following three months at the prison’s secure work-center release, according to the reports. He will remain on probation for the next 4 1/2 years and will be required to pay a $5,000 fine.

The guilty plea could end Wells’s career in horse racing. Wells’s license was suspended when he was indicted, and state racing commissions weigh an applicant’s history in determining whether to grant a license. A guilty plea to fixing races is not easily overcome.

Wells was indicated by federal prosecutors on multiple counts of conspiring to fix races for allegedly administering illegal substances to horses on race day during a four-year period from 2009-13. The federal charges were dropped last year when Wells reached a deal to plead guilty to a single state charge of attempting to fix a horse race.

Wells, 50, trained Rapid Redux from late 2010 to early 2012. During that time, the former $6,500 claimer reeled off a modern-day record of 22 straight wins. The horse was named a Special Eclipse Award winner in 2012 for the feat.

The federal indictment and plea agreement did not name any specific horses or specific instances in which Wells illegally administered a substance to a horse on race day, nor did the indictment and plea deal identify the substances that were administered.

Terry Misel More than 1 year ago
3 months for over 100 robberies or attempted robberies?
Ken Wiener More than 1 year ago
Finally a very serious penalty for a trainer cheating the betting public. One can only hope other cheating trainers are also criminally charged as ineffectual racing regulators are not taken seriously by the crooks.
Don Demeza More than 1 year ago
Don Demeza More than 1 year ago
All you sheep out there that are under the illusion that the authorities are pursuing justice in a fair and equitable way and working in the best interest of racing, please WAKE UP !!! This case has more to do with the ineffective and impotent job authorities have done attempting to clean up the negative image that thoroughbred racing has. It's as though the public is taking all their frustrations out on Wells and the three other indicted. Very few truths are known about the case but the common opinion seems to be to hang them. Meanwhile others during the same and worse continue to conduct business as usual with apparently no interruptions by the authorities. If that statement wasn't true we would certainly see many more cases pending of which their are none I am aware of, at least in this racing jurisdiction . Although this case may temporarily feel good and productive for those who believe racing needs cleaning up, it does nothing to address the issue unless it leads to consistent vigilance in that effort. Unfortunately ,it seems to me that Wells is a scapegoat and paying heavy price for the frustrations of the public when the real offenders are the authorities who have done such a poor job of policing itself. It's painfully obvious racing has severe problems which have led to their poor public image. To stick their collective heads in the sand and pull it out only long enough to see a handful of violations , throw the book at those violators then stick your heads back in the sand, doesn't seem to be effective or fair. It certainly doesn't deal with the real issues racing needs to address.
Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
The worst part is there were serious allegations against Wells after 15 of those 22 wins. Nobody thought to test Rapid Redux? Sometimes I think these tracks don't want to know, especially the smaller ones who could lose one of their top 5 trainers, who holds 10-15% of all the horses on grounds.
Don Demeza More than 1 year ago
It is policy that all winners get urine and blood testing for illegal substances. Not only was Rapid Redux get tested for all 22 wins but he passed those test.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
"6500 claimer reeled off a modern day record of 22 straight wins". they left out,.....and NEVER raised an eyebrow! what a game!
Mr. Mongo98 More than 1 year ago
I fully support turning this industry on it's head with a federally empowered commissioner. Let's get this cheating industry cleaned up.
Mr. Mongo98 More than 1 year ago
I want the horse names, drugs used, racetrack and running dates. This should be public knowledge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why waste time on the little guys???? They should putting real people in jail such as the stewards at Gulf Stream for fixing races !!!!!!!!! A horse at Gulf Stream ran named up start and won by 2 lengths and they took him down because they said he bumped the other horse, when in fact there was no contact at all!! Even though I won the double and exacta,I lost the $1 dollar superfecta!!
Michael Beauregard More than 1 year ago
I felt the same way no contact just over reacting by the runner up.
Sinatra Jeter More than 1 year ago
What is it that the Federal Government won't allow the naming of these illegal substances that horse are medicated with, what is the mystery? There are convictions and trainers being punished for administering substances that are not allowed. So how does a trainer that is accused of giving horses illegal drugs that the substances can't be named so that the public can know what is being administered and how it affects the horses.
jack_straw21 More than 1 year ago
May be withholding the information about specific drugs to use in future investigations. Withhold info to not tip off others using the same meds.