02/23/2015 1:28PM

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.