Trainer David Wells

Trainer David Wells

Benoit Photography

Trainer Wells Sentenced for Rigging Races

To serve first three months in prison, with 4 1/2 years of probation.

Trainer David J. Wells, who raced horses at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, has been sentenced to five years intermediate punishment, with the first three months in prison, for his role in rigging races by giving drugs to horses on race day.

On Feb. 23 Judge Deborah E. Curcillo imposed a three-month detention in the Dauphin County Prison, followed by three months in the county work-release center and then 4 1/2 years of probation, according to Wells, 50, of Grantville, Pa., was also fined $5,000.

Wells pleaded guilty in December to rigging races by administering drugs to horses on race day in violation of rules and regulations banning such treatment.

Under a plea agreement he entered into last December, Wells admitted that he orally or by hypodermic injection illegally administered drugs to horses he trained and raced to give him and his horses an advantage in races. He also admitted that he was fully aware it was in violation of racing rules and regulations.

Wells also said efforts were made to conceal this activity from the public and the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission. The criminal complaint alleged the activity took place between 2008 and 2012.

Best known as the trainer of Special Eclipse Award winner Rapid Redux, Wells, two other trainers, and the Penn National clocker were originally charged by federal officials. Of the four people arrested following the investigation, only the case of assistant trainer Patricia Anne Rogers continues. She is set for a federal jury trial March 9, 2015.

Daniel Robertson, the former official clocker at Penn National, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud July 22. Robertson, who entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney, received one year of probation and was fined $1,250.

Last year, a federal District Court dismissed both counts of a federal indictment against trainer Samuel Webb, saying the government's allegations failed to meet the definitions of the two charges.