All posts by V. Farrell

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Pennsylvania racehorse trainer given jail time for race rigging

Racehorse in Profile
Racehorse in Profile. Google image.

Now we’re talking. This is the way to deal with trainers who run drugged racehorses. And we hope to see more arrests and convictions in racing jurisdictions across the U.S. Horse racing itself is certainly not going to police itself properly.

A judge sentenced Central Pennsylvania racehorse trainer David Wells for race rigging by giving performance enhancing drugs to horses he ran over a period of several years.

The Associated Press reports:

The 50-year-old Wells pleaded guilty in December to rigging publicly exhibited contests. He’s admitted using drugs to give his horses an advantage in Penn National Race Course races between 2009 and 2013.

Wells said he was aware the practice violated state law and racing regulations and that he tried concealing his activity from the public and the regulators.”

Wells will serve the first three months of his six month sentence in prison followed by three months in a work release program.

Matt Miller of PennLive.com reports:

Defense attorney Jerry Russo argued, in vain, for a probation term, like the sentence another Penn National trainer received several years ago following a county probe into horse doping at the East Hanover Township track.”

and

Wells’ sentencing came more than a year after he, two other trainers and a track employee were arrested following a probe by state and Dauphin County officials and the FBI. All were originally charged in federal court.”

This is a very light sentence in our opinion considering the extent of his crimes and the amount of time over which they were committed. But it is a start.

Miller also reports in the same article:

Wells is the second person charged in the state/county/FBI probe to be sentenced. In November, a federal judge sentenced Danny L. Robertson of Hershey, a former Penn National clocker, to a year of probation for posting false trial times.

Another trainer, Patricia A. Rogers of Hummelstown, is awaiting trial in U.S. Middle District Court. Like Wells, trainer Samuel Webb of Jonestown had his case transferred from federal to county court, where he is awaiting trial.”