Three Trainers, Clocker Charged With Fraud at Penn National

by | 11.22.2013 | 11:20am
Penn National Racecourse

Trainers David Wells, Sam Webb and Patricia Rogers, along with clocker Danny Robertson, were arrested Friday morning on federal charges of fraud in connection with races run at Penn National racetrack in Grantville, Pa. The arrests were the result of a long-running federal jury and an investigation by the FBI that is ongoing. After the indictments were unsealed and the arrests made, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission suspended the four individuals indefinitely, pending the outcome of the criminal cases against them.

Sam Webb indictment

David Wells indictment

Patricia Rogers indictment

Danny Robertson indictment


Penn National's director of operations, Dan Silver, issued the following comment on behalf of Penn National Gaming:
“Management at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course has confirmed that four individuals were arrested on track property Friday morning.

“Three of the individuals were licensed trainers that run horses at the racetrack and the fourth was an employee of the track. The employee has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

“The trainers in question are not employees at Penn National. Management is awaiting taking any possible action pending determination by the PA State Horse Racing Commission on the status of the trainers' licenses.

“Hollywood Casino takes this matter very seriously and will cooperate fully with law enforcement for the swift settlement of these issues.

Following is a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice for the Middle District of Pennsylvania:

The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the unsealing of indictments charging three thoroughbred horse trainers and an employee of Penn National Racetrack in Grantville with fraud in connection with horse races at that track. The indictments were returned by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg on Wednesday and were unsealed following arrests of four individuals earlier today.

According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, David Wells, 39, of Grantville, Sam Webb, 63, of Jonestown, Patricia Anne Rogers, 43, of Hummelstown, and Danny Robertson, 63, of Hershey, were charged individually in four separate indictments.

Wells, Webb and Rogers, all horse trainers, were charged with allegedly devising a scheme to defraud those betting on thoroughbred races at Penn National Racetrack by attempting to administer, and administering in violation of state racing rules and regulations, substances prohibited from being introduced into a horse within 24 hours of when the horse is scheduled to race.

The indictment also alleges that it is also a violation of state law to rig or attempt to rig a publicly exhibited contest such as a thoroughbred horse race. Races at Penn National Racetrack are simulcast to approximately 116 sites across the United States and in other countries by wire and television to allow bettors to wager on the Penn National races without being in attendance at that track.

According to the indictment, Robertson was employed by the track as the clocker to provide racing officials and others with the official workout times for horses at Penn National, information relied upon by the betting public. The trainers, like the owners, stand to profit financially from the purse offered for that race if the horse that is entered finishes in first, second or third place.

The indictment charging Webb alleges that Webb was detected by track security personnel on May 2, 2013, in a stall at the racetrack in possession of hypodermic syringes, needles and bottles of medications preparing to inject the horse “Papaleo” that Webb trained and which was scheduled to run in the sixth race that day. The horse was scratched from the race by racing officials.

The indictment charging Rogers alleges that Rogers was caught by track security personnel on August 21, 2013, at a stall at the racetrack in possession of hypodermic syringes and needles and bottles of medications and was observed injecting or attempting to inject a substance into a horse named “Strong Resolve” that she trained and that was scheduled to run in the second race that day.

The horse was scratched from the race by racing officials. Rogers was also charged with conspiring with a person known to the grand jury to attempt to commit wire fraud.

The indictment charging Wells alleges that Wells, both a trainer and horse owner, for several years up to and including February 2012, would routinely inject prohibited substances into horses he trained and other horses he both trained and owned, by use of hypodermic syringes and needles and otherwise. It is also alleged that Wells was routinely in possession of those prohibited items at the racetrack in violation of state rules, regulations and laws.

The indictment charging Robertson alleges that Robertson was an employee of the racetrack, working in the capacity of clocker whose duties included being present when horses would have their official workout. Robertson was to verify that the horse being timed was the actual horse the trainer represented it to be, to accurately record the distance each horse ran, and the time it ran that distance in and then to provide that information to racing officials for inclusion in the official public daily racing program.

Robertson also allegedly sent the workout time information interstate by wire via computer to Equibase, a Kentucky based company that provides information on a racehorse's past performance and workout times to media outlets and publications as well as on its own website. The workout time information is allegedly relied upon by the betting public in deciding which horses to wager on in any given race.

The Robertson indictment alleges that Robertson, in exchange for cash given to him by trainers known and unknown to the grand jury, would provide false workout times to racing officials and to Equibase. The times Robertson turned in allegedly, at times, included completely fabricated time for horses that did not workout at all at the track. The indictment alleges Robertson profited personally from the scheme, the betting public was defrauded and Robertson's employer, Hollywood Casino and Racetrack, was denied of its right to Robertson's honest services.

The investigation which is continuing is being conducted by the Harrisburg office of the FBI, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Horse Racing Commission, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Each defendant faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000.00 fine if convicted of wire fraud or attempted wire fraud. Each defendant faces an additional 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000.00 fine if convicted of using and attempting to use the intestate wire mechanism provided by the simulcasting of races to defraud or for attempting to defraud the public through the rigging of a publicly exhibited contest in violation of state law. Rogers faces an additional potential 20 year term of imprisonment and a $250,000.00 fine if convicted of the charge of conspiring to commit wire fraud.

Prosecution has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Behe.

The case has been assigned to Senior U.S. District Court Judge William W. Caldwell.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued the following statement:
The PA HBPA is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of approximately 4,800 thoroughbred horse owners and trainers who race horses at Penn National Race Course in and Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa.

The PA HBPA believes strongly that it is of the utmost importance to the integrity of horseracing, the betting public, and racing fans for the racing industry to remain strictly vigilant in regards to the improper use of medications or other performance enhancing drugs.

We believe we run a great program here at Penn National that delivers high quality, competitive races to the betting public here in Pennsylvania and across the country.   The PA HBPA works closely with the Pennsylvania Racing Commission on a daily basis to ensure that the rules and regulations governing horse racing are effectively enforced so that each of our members can enjoy a level playing field

The PA HBPA takes seriously our responsibility to serve as good stewards of the money we receive from the Race Horse Development Fund and we are proud of the substantial economic impact and job growth our industry has generated in Pennsylvania. As part of our stewardship efforts, the PA HBPA worked proactively with the management of Penn National Race Course to establish a new program to ensure that Lasix was properly administered and to prohibit the use of other medications on race day.

Our Lasix program was put in place two years ago and requires that Lasix can only be administered by specific designated veterinarians.  This was done to help ensure Lasix was not used improperly on race days and maintain the integrity of the sport.  Prior to the new program, Lasix was administered by a range of individuals with inadequate oversight.

Security protocols we put in place to enforce the program essentially prohibit individuals other than the designated veterinarian from being in a horse stall on race day.   In fact, it was these security protocols that led to security personnel catching two of the indicted individuals in horse stalls on race day.  The horses were subsequently scratched and denied the ability to race on those days while the individual trainers were brought before the Pennsylvania Racing Commission.

Following the implementation of our Lasix program, the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium (RMTC), the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and the International Federations of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) jointly issued a model regulation related to the administration of Lasix on race days.  While many racing authorities are still in the process of reviewing these model regulations, the PA HBPA and Penn National acted to voluntarily put these restriction in place because we thought it was vital to the integrity of our sport.  We take our responsibility and stewardship of the sport very seriously and our actions, such as the new Lasix program and security protocols we adopted, demonstrate our commitment.


  • Really

    I was told that Two of the names (not wells) were for people caught injecting horses close to the race.

    • LL

      PR ran an article on Rogers earlier this year. I was concerned because a very nice horse claimed from us is in her husband’s care. He has consistently run at higher levels than the claim price. Maybe he needs to be investigated too.

      • Countess

        Patricia Rogers must have learned from Her husband. He was caught with Elephant juice years back. Not good people.

        • Lisa

          Those who KNOW Trish, know she truly loves horses and always has.

          • Roisin

            As Tina Turner sang “What’s Love got To DO With It !!!

  • Tinky

    Drugging? Wait, I’m confused, as just yesterday we were in informed by the CEO of the HBPA that doping is extremely rare, and that 99.9% of tests come back clean…

    • 4Bellwether666

      Had to know that clown was a DA when he told them all that BS…

    • takethat

      It all goes back to the Michael Gill case

      Gill told the Paulick Report an FBI investigation of jockeys, jockey agents, trainers, racetrack and Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission employees will lead to as many as 42 federal indictments. The indictments, Gill said, will involve manipulation of races, offshore gambling, collusion between trainers and test barn personnel, and embezzlement.

      “Then we’ll see if people will believe what I was saying at the time about all of the corruption at Penn National,” Gill said.

      • equine avenger

        Don’t let this horse killer/abuser/doper fool you…..that owner and his trainers were all mixed up in that stuff too. Just as corrupt, if not more so. How else do you thing this guy would know all that stuff if he wasn’t involved as well? Making money is the ONLY thing that matters to that man…..the horses mean nothing. To him, it’s like tossing the trash out when it’s that time.

      • Saul

        Gill, was 100% correct. This was a start, please read the article in the Philadelphia Post telling how Pa. legislature is front running SCANDAL at Penn National, it goes from TOP to bottom…….dissolution of racing commission………..”distance themselves from Horsemen’s groups……”

        • Rocket scientist

          I wonder if the FEDS will look into the computer players that Parx, penn, Isle of Man let through Into their systems, and see if they have a disproportionate winning percentage on the trainers that will go down. The so called arbitrage players that take advantage of so called ” inefficiencies in the pools”. It makes me wonder if their computer angles is really just a front for knowing the winners prior to a race. This may be the start of a giant RICO case.

        • Johnny Sease

          read my reply just about condition book,it well give you an eye opening on how it starts.

      • Johnny Sease

        the condition book ,and the add on races,are to suit top trainers with alot of do we know if kick back aren’t being handed out for these extra races.

        • vinceNYC

          Doesn’t it make sense that the add on races suit the trainers who can enter horses…….geez

    • Barry Irwin

      The timing is nothing short of exquisite.

      • Aunt Bea

        Yeah! It almost reminds me of the exquisite timing of a certain phone call after a particular BH op/ed!

      • Aunt Bea

        Although it was, I admit, & years ago.

    • Jay Stone

      The HBPA leader looks even dumber today than yesterday if that is possible. Most horsemen know his statements were ludicrous and now the timing was pretty bad.

    • Christopher Crocker

      That’s because 99.9% of the good drugs are undetectable. Go figure! How can the CEO of the HBPA be so naïve? WAKE UP!

      • 4Bellwether666


        • Richard C

          He is shrewdly naive — in another scenario, this cat would be called “hired protection”.

          • betterthannothing

            The best protection the lame HBPA can buy…

        • betterthannothing

          Isn’t lying to Congress a felony?

          • 4Bellwether666

            Sure is…

          • vinceNYC

            I am waiting for Darrell Issa to be arrested

  • Bryan T

    Hopefully they do investigations like this at every racetrack in America. This is clearly just the tip of the cheating iceberg. They should take a trip down to Tampa next.

    • HappyHarriett

      Del Mar, Santa Anita please.

      • pete

        And harness racing as well! All racehorses deserve protection of their welfare even if their are not catastrophic breakdowns.

    • FastBernieB

      Tampa seems to be able to catch the cheaters – they just take way too long to punish them.

      • Jay Stone

        That is the problem in Florida. There is no enforcement of rules. There is no so called racing commission. You could have medication overages sitting on the desk of the bureaucrats for years before the trainer gets any punishment. If the Feds have decided to intervene In these cases by invoking their rules then you can expect quick and harsh actions. This would also stop most perpetrators as they would have something to fear.

  • Kim Howell

    Karma is a sod when you deny responsibility for what happens on your property; PNG you ARE supposed to know when horses at your track are unfit to race! !

  • Angelika Hala Kerr

    @Tinky: your commentary: priceless!!!

  • 4Bellwether666

    How many times have I told you folks “The Fed” has been on the backside checking things out for a number of years all over the country!!!…A bunch of trainers/vets and race track officials all over this nation are sweating bullets @ this very moment…”The Hammer” is coming down!!!…Did these clowns really believe they were bullet proof???…

    • Tinky

      Be sure to wake me when a big-name trainer goes down.

      Not out of the question, but I won’t be holding my breath.

      • zchairman

        Good morning Tinky, time to wake up. Ricky Dutrow was one of the biggest, and last I heard “HE WENT DOWN” for 10 years. I hope that jogs your memory sir.
        That said, there are scores more that need to go down and the sooner the better. Tinky and I have no disagreement on that.

        • Tinky

          Dutrow did not go down for doping horses with illegal substances, in case you hadn’t noticed.

          • Biggar

            What did he go down for?

        • Jay Stone

          Dutrow’s indiscretions were nothing compared to most of these people. He paid the price for being the poster boy for mischief and it was a disgrace he got the penalty he did.

          • Barry Irwin

            I liken it to nailing Al Capone on income tax evasion. Dutrow was a rotten egg on all accounts.

          • Jay Stone

            Good analogy. Dutrow was a very good horseman who communicated better with horses than people. He didn’t thinks laws applied to him and that was his downfall.

          • Barry Irwin

            His downfall, like a lot of them, is that once he saw what juice could accomplish vs. what a horseman could do, he became sold on the stuff.

          • nu-fan

            There are many in our society who think that laws apply to others but not to themselves. Not at all unusual. A study, only a couple of years ago, found that the wealthy/affluent are among the most to make that assumption. Perhaps, that extends to some of those who have had a certain degree of success as well.

          • Laureus

            Perfect description…

          • azeri1

            Jay, with all due respect, 70 recorded violations are a bit more flagrant than “indiscretions”. Recorded violations are performed acts, not misjudgments.

          • Jay Stone

            Sorry, indiscretions bad word. My point is Dutrow paid the price with basically a lifetime ban for his crimes. He had no respect for the law whether it be minor paperwork screw ups or major drug positives. He became the poster boy for all that was wrong in this game. He could have dropped all his appeals and been back in a year but made the wrong choice.

          • Knowitall

            Most of Dutrow’s violations were for paperwork, late to paddock, etc. And a few of his own for smoking pot, etc. He was a POW, but harping on the number is misleading. It is a reflection of his general disdain for organization or authority. I’d mention some well known trainers that have served suspensions and no one says boo because they take their lumps, and let it get swept away. Dutrow couldn’t shut up.

          • 4Bellwether666

            Mischief???…Please pull your head outta that dark spot…

          • Bob

            Jay, your kidding, right ????????

        • chairman,Take a hike and get off Tinkys’ back. You lost your credibility yesterday

          • Bobbythejudge

            Hey Lou, where have you been, Bobby ,ex neighbor in pa.

          • Bobby Stovall?? Contact me at [email protected]

          • Bob

            Bobby, did you ride at Rockingham

          • Bobbythejudge

            Yes I did

          • Bobby, I’m living in Aiken, South Carolina. Keep in touch.

          • Bobbythejudge

            Hey Lou, Sorry I haven’t wrote back sooner, will send you email with more,I’m in South Texas, Rio Hondo,near the border close to Brownsville.

        • azeri1

          Rick Dutrow has racked up over 70 violations at 15 racetracks in 9 states.

          In April 2011, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission denied Dutrow’s request for a license, saying he had misrepresentations on his application and demonstrated “conduct against the best interest of racing”.

          “Dutrow, who has a long history of violations throughout a career that began in 1979, had a horse test positive for the powerful painkiller, butorphanol, in the post-race test on Nov. 20, 2010, just 17 days after three syringes were found in his barn filled with xylazine, a painkiller and a muscle relaxer.” Jerry Bossert, NY Daily News, Feb 27th, 2013

          He certainly had a long history of violations, but these were what put the NYSGA over the edge. Dutrow lost his appeal for the second time in 2012 and began serving his 10 year suspension on January 17th, 2013.

      • Barry Irwin

        It would take about 48 hours to bust ANY trainer in America that is taking an edge, as the FBI has the equipment, means and know how to get the job done.

    • Barry Irwin

      I disagree with the notion that The Feds have been on the backside for years, because if they had been, this crapola would have seen the light of day much sooner than this.

      • Jay Stone

        Agreed, but the Feds have been involved with that track for years. It’s good to see them using federal statutes when horse doping is involved. It opens a lot of doors for enforcement that were closed before.

      • Saul

        Barry, in this case they have been at Penn for 2 years, they were impeded by Horsemen’s group, Track management and the Racing commission.Have to give credit to FBI

        • Barry Irwin

          Amazing. Thanks Saul.

        • 4Bellwether666

          Try four years Saul…

        • Saul, Any facts on those impediments by the commission, Trainers’ Benevolent And Protection Association or Penn National. I don’t doubt you, but I would like to know more details.

      • 4Bellwether666

        Disagree all u want Barry boy and stay tuned…

    • cheri

      They do think they are bullet proof, the greasy devils.

  • Bob Loblob

    Whats the big deal? Baseball was much better when everybody was on the juice and cranking out home runs. Racing would be better with the juice too. Maybe everyone should just quit complaining about how racing is “unfair”, “fixed”, or there is too much cheating. Every handicapper I know thinks something fishy is going on when they lose on a ticket or can tell you why the race just run was BS. Quit crying or racing will be gone all together.

    • Kim Howell

      Perhaps you and those who think as you do should be the ones ‘gone altogether’ from racing.

  • Sharla

    Now these are criminals!!. There will be more named in this conspiracy to defraud I am sure as the case continues. Poor horses! Hmmmm wonder if these people will make the next list of real “dopers” when the sub-committee brings in their next set of “experts”??

    • Concerned person

      And they should check out Belmont. A horse there named Rift has had published workouts for months now, yet he has never been entered in a race. I think someone is just using that name.

      • pesposito

        He is in tomorrow. Been off for 2 1/2 years

  • Harry

    Come to the Southwest,,,,PLEASE!

    • betterthannothing

      Portland Meadows too…

      From DRF 3/21/11:

      “Fifty-one percent of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s entrants have won races at the current Portland Meadows meeting, with an astounding 85 percent of them hitting the board.”

      Didn’t that trainer finish one meet at that track, perhaps that meet, with a 79% win record?

      • Anon

        What does that prove, just because he has a high win % that he’s doping his horses? This article didn’t claim the Penn Natl horses were actually winning their races. Maybe Hollendorfer would rather just run his horses in races where they can win instead of throwing them around so they can get 6th place purse money.

        • Rcket scientist

          It doesn’t prove doping, the Feds have just shown us, you h e to catch them in the act. But a win percentage that’s higher than 20%, is certainly suspect. Especially if the horses aren’t getting claimed. That looks like the other trainers know what’s up.

      • Saul

        Hollendorfer runs superior horses at a RAT track

        • betterthannothing

          On November 20, 2013 (last racing date available) that track has 10 claiming races out of 10 races, most horses racing with 5K tags. Assuming that’s a typical day there, please explain to me how JH did not have all his superior horses claimed first time out? Or does he have an endless supply of superior, fit, ready to win 5k claimers?

      • Matthew Martini

        I followed the Portland circuit with interest during Hollendorfer’s dominance a couple of years ago (it is my home track). The horses that were coming up were those that could not compete consistently at higher levels in CA. The drop to P. Meadows was always steep, and they were often dominant–and better bred than most of the stock that runs here. For whatever reason, he doesn’t seem to be bringing horses up here with regularity anymore.

  • SusanKayne

    IN NY State The Gaming Commission did all of “admonish” Bruce Levine and Gregory Bennett, DVM for 9 of the same violations. Who’s the leader in racing?….. “Wells, Webb and Rogers, all horse trainers, were charged with allegedly devising a scheme to defraud those betting on thoroughbred races at Penn National Racetrack by attempting to administer, and administering in violation of state racing rules and regulations, substances prohibited from being introduced into a horse within 24 hours of when the horse is scheduled to race.”

  • Sinking Ship

    They should check out what’s going on at Parx, too!

    • easygoer8

      And every racetrack in the country!!

    • bob ostrum

      Until they have a test for COBALT the trainers who are at 40% win will continue to win especially in Harness racing.

      • Jord

        True. Economy blood doping.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

      Why? Horses that run 1:43 miles impress you?

      • Sinking Ship

        They don’t race much faster at Penn National, Lefty!

  • Charlie Davis

    Wait, you mean you can’t trust published workout reports?!? That’s a shocker.

    Good on Pennsylvania for actually starting down the path of addressing these issues. I’m skeptical that things will go smoothly with the prosecution, but maybe that’s just me being a jaded horseplayer.

    • HappyHarriett

      I wouldn’t suggest you trust ANY workout times unless you’ve clocked them yourself. And I’m being serious, not just negative.

      • Barry Irwin

        Charlie IS a clocker Harriett.

      • FastBernieB

        Honest clockers doing there very best have difficulty producing accurate times just by the very nature of what they’re asked to do. Clocking several horses simultaneously going different distances between different sets of poles is chaos at its finest. As a handicapping tool, I’m not interested in a horses times but I do like to see a regular work pattern.

        • sonny

          Totally agree with this. Had to use certain colored saddle cloth to make sure I clocked my own horse when many horses worked and galloped.

    • Barry Irwin

      Hey Charlie, how you doing? Long time no talk boy.

      • Charlie Davis

        Wrong Charlie Barry! I’m no clocker, just a bettor.

        And obviously I was being sarcastic up above. I don’t trust clockers unless I know them, or know someone who vouches for them. I’ve seen enough shenanigans that I find it hard to trust published workouts.

        • laureus

          Yeh, right.

          • AngelaFromAbilene

            Yeah, absolutely right. I know many trainers who send horses out to work and give the wrong name of the horse. I NEVER trust an “official” work. And I’ve spent most of my life on the backside.

    • Saul

      PENNSYLVANIA HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS, their investigation was a white wash, THIS WAS ALL the doing of the FBI……………..many many more coming

      • BK

        Hey, last time I looked Pennsylvania Racing Commission, is an agency under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania government system. They just happened to decide to book these few on Federal charges.( more scarey, and sorry mate, can’t have as much of a pull on the FBI) What I am saying is that the FBI is the scape goat for the the commonwealth.(like the Blues Brothers movie line, please baby it was me, I had a flat tire, I ran outta gas, a friend came from outta town) The delay of months, after these guys were caught red handed with the needles in the stalls. HELLO?—and what about the dirty little culture that has allowed to grow and flourish over the years at the mighty Peanut. ALL bull! and Stinks! I hope there are a big yellow bus load more to come.

  • Sinking Ship

    The horses are the true victims in all this … getting injected with all sorts of concoctions that ultimately ruins their health.

    • betterthannothing

      The voiceless horses always pay the highest price. That is why race horses need an authority dedicated solely to their protection which would also eliminate so many problems, all related to their abuse including doping. The FBI watched those scumbags abuse and drug horses for one year after they had been abusing horses, endangering riders and cheating gamblers badly and long enough for the FBI to be contacted.

      • nu-fan

        Watching the Congressional hearing of yesterday, I remember Wayne Pacelle using the analogy of the number of injuries sustained by other major human sports figures and the 24 horses that die each week on our tracks. I wished he would’ve done one more thing and reminded those on the Congressional panel that the horses, unfortunately, have no say in how they are treated, whereas, humans do.

    • cheri

      Yes, indeed. Amen.

  • HogHater

    Bring in the hard-hitting CHRB investigative squad on a consulting assignment to get to the bottom of this.

    • azeri1

      You make funny joke, no?

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I would hope that this is fully investigated and prosecuted on the federal level and there are no soft plea deals made. This very well could be the turning point racing needs. If people are really made an example of, then maybe others will finally realize regulation will start to get serious.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Prison and a $250,000 fine will get their attention…Quick!!!…

  • Harry

    No charges for money laundering? Must not be the Big League!

  • bpiets

    say , wells isn’t a relation to DARELL WELLS the race anownser at woodbine for many years before losing his job for betting on a tri. there and

  • Knowitall

    Rapid Redux shot to 22 wins with Wells through January 2012?

    • dc_mikeB

      Yup. Shame. At least RR was retired to old friends. Wonder how many didn’t…

      • Roisin

        RR was so high profile by then what else could be done and save face. As for the others do I really want to know ?, but I sure can make a good guess !

  • bpiets

    golly geee….the new york track etc. have been doing VICEFULLfilling things for their benefits since horse racing problem is that they are CHEATING / STEALING from the PUBLIC’S hard earned wages….A few years ago ‘i’ suggested that ALL OWNERS / TRAINERS / STABLE HELP AND THOSE directly related to same have all bets listed on a separate board 2 hours before any races take place for that card ( s ) race program and also for off track betting . And if any one bets in any way otherwise into the PUBLIC POOL they will be banded and charged with criminal activities and also those who place bets for them in any way shape or form…and that in the 60 ‘s… does like to play the SUCKERS so they did not create a fair list of rules as guidlines for beting for themselves against the general public…sad…so now we have a great waste of tax payer money going to investigations which would be far reduced if penalties for going further to undermine the sport of horse racing were all that much greater..etc..sad..sad..sad..

  • Roger

    Good story…good HEADLINE. There’s another story but headline is a yawn….CHRB issues 2014 Race Dates but the Blood Horse story further explains that SA/TOC have DROPPED Doubles by over 60% in their betting menu now restricting to only 3 doubles a card while reducing the takeout rate to 18%…..THAT HEADLINE would’ve generated discussion if it was mentioned.

  • Hungry Howie

    Boo Hoo….horses are livestock. I bet you have never tried horse meat, better than beef.

    • HappyHarriett

      You are a disgustng bag of horse manure.

      • dc_mikeB

        he’s trolling.

  • Horse owner

    The same things are going on at Zia park in New Mexico which is owned by Penn National. The only thing different is the abuse is twenty fold at Zia. There have been plenty of bad tests but the offenders are still racing and winning. New Mexico is still not doing anything to these criminals.

    • laterush

      Zia Park is owned by Penn Gaming too?

      • betterthannothing

        A graveyard racino.

  • dheary

    Ah, should have learned from “master’s”…Dr.’s Dutrow and Frankel

  • MignightHoot

    I think we should focus on the outbreak of Herpes at Parx. I mean who is the sick individual that is having “relations” with the horses? I know (first-hand) that once you get the HSV you can never get rid of it. I make sure to tell all my partners that I am HSV+ and they can make there own decisions. The horses can’t! I am sure it is probally illegal or at least “frowned upon” in Pennsylvania for humans and horses to procreate. Thank you for listening.

  • Hamish

    Wonder if this the extent of the case or more to follow? Some rather serious violations of law alleged in the indictments, but it seems small fish are being caught first.

  • mcmannis

    What??? Workout times are unreliable??? What a shocker!!! Who hasn’t known that fact after a short time in the industry? Trainers have told me that maybe 50% of workouts are accurate, and not just times. I’m glad to see the problem exposed and action taken. While the authorities are at it, expand that part of the investigation to include race times. There sure are a lot of known timer malfunctions as well as suspected ones.

  • Tom Crowder

    this is be honest I dont really care about a morning workout…I care about who is the mommy and daddy and if a good jockey is aboard..

  • Guest

    What??? Workout times are unreliable??? What a shocker!!! Who hasn’t
    known that fact after a short time in the industry? Trainers have told
    me that maybe 50% of workouts are accurate, and not just times. I’m glad
    to see the problem exposed and action taken. While the authorities are
    at it, expand that part of the investigation to include race times.
    There sure are a lot of known timer malfunctions as well as suspected

  • Barry Irwin

    FBI has given us a blueprint moving forward to nail the cheaters. Who says the government is not needed in our lives! Who else does anybody know that is going to clean up our sport? Self policing is a horrible joke and sham.

    • Saul

      Excellent post, Barry

    • Lost In The Fog

      I completely agree. It’s only a matter of priorities and allocation of resources where the FBI is concerned. If they choose to cast a broader net and investigate things at other tracks then we will see additional indictments. There is no better way to clean up the sport than to exercise federal jurisdiction in nailing the cheaters for violating federal law. The federal laws involved and their associated penalties have real teeth.

      • Jay Stone

        I wonder if the Feds will stand a grand jury in Florida with their statutes for conspiring to fix a sporting event. This being a federal crime the penalties are very large and usually include a visit to federal prison. There are cases now waiting disposition that would fit the penalty perfectly. It would also scare away most of the potential offenders. This may be going on as we speak.

    • Sandi York

      How true. Sometimes I feel so exasperated by these stories that I sometimes believe we don’t deserve horse racing in America. How sad because there are those of us who love horses and horse racing. And the few bad apples ruin it for everybody. Lifetime bans zero tolerance…. if its not already too late.

    • Name

      Your comment is spot on, Barry. Self policing in ANY venue, is a cruel trick played on the public that relies on regulatiors or other government agencies to protect their best interests. I’m not a Michael Gill fan, but I have to give him credit, he was right about Penn National. Penn National has been a festival of corruption since the late 70’s.

    • GreggJ

      Perfectly stated Barry.

    • Ginger2000

      So true.

    • cheri

      Yes, it is, Mr. Irwin. I agree with you 100%, as usual. You, though, are a paragon of honesty in horse racing. More like you…

    • BajaBert

      Barry – smaller government involvement in certain matters is not the same as no government involvement in any matters.

      • Barry Irwin

        I understand, but recent history suggests that people that scream the loudest about Big Government are the first in line to sign up for any perks available.

        • BajaBert

          Spot on, Barry. They’re called hypocrites. But the flip side of that would be those who are big fans of more and more government, but want someone else to pay for it. BTW…thanks for all you do for the sport that I’ve loved since childhood. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Convene

      Kinda makes you wish people would learn the meaning of that forgotten word, “integrity.” One doesn’t even have to know the actual LAW to behave with integrity. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately – and not just in connection with racing. It’s all just,
      “What can I get away with when no one’s looking?” How sad …

  • Ben van den Brink

    Maybe the FBI, should come to clean up the mess, what is called US horseracing. Results might be better than when USADA is coming in.

    • betterthannothing

      Clean racing needs a central authority with one division created purely to protect the welfare and safety of race horses, the USADA and the FBI on call.

  • Big Red

    wow, when did this become something new?
    I guess you never stood by the clockers booth and hear the trainers “negotiate” a time???
    Not saying it’s right, but clocking workouts is not an exact science.

    • Barry Irwin

      1 million percent correct except in Southern California.

    • laterush

      a little bit like say ….is this package of meat, really black angus meat or lets say it is
      anyhow because there’s just a bit of drugged horse meat in it… Sshhh, no -one will even
      know…the label says beef

      • Ginger2000

        This is not just a racing problem. Your beef comment is more appropriate than you know. I watched What?! a show about the food industry last night and they actually WASH hamburger “filler” in ammonia!! Cheating, greed, call it what you will, is a people problem. From the top to the bottom some people just do not care about what is right.

        • laterush

          What TV show was that? I’d like to see it. Yes, of course Horse Industry Bad asses affect everyone globally!
          Horsemeat(especially drugged) slipped into other foods unlabelled
          Kill Buyer Brian Moore lives in Jonestown PA not far from Penn Racing
          Actually, I think Sam Webb lives in Jonestown as well? hmmn

  • debbie

    HA, this is funny well it isn’t but to have the HBPA come out and say what they did and NOW THIS, timing is PERFECT………… ABOUT TIME

    • Ginger2000

      I agree. No sooner were the words out of his mouth than they were proven to be a lie.

    • The Trainers’ Protection And Benevolent Association is a much more accurate description.

      • laterush

        Yes your right. Wonder if the Beattie clan would agree though.

  • pam

    wow i am so saddened o hear this goes on

  • genuinecat

    Why don’t they go into a NFL locker room too. Do the same RULES apply?

  • Kristian O’Reilly

    Pretty sleazy allegations in PA……

  • louisbille

    Lock these 4 up for the maximum 20 years, then do the same to the next group of cheats – and afterwards 99% of cheating will stop. Fines mean nothing, most cheaters are near dead broke already. Federal prison time and tons of media coverage will fix the fixers. These folks will never fail drug tests, because the ‘juice’ they are using isn’t being tested for yet.

    • Ginger2000

      I agree. Cheating is defrauding the gamblers. That is a crime. Forget the fines and suspensions which are a joke.

  • betterthannothing

    That, my friends, was the drug-loving HBPA morning-after pill!

  • Mimi Hunter

    I hope they don’t stop with those four. There is a long history of that sort of stuff up there.

  • Harry

    So here is another scenario for you all to ponder….drug dealer or anyone that doesn’t want a money trail, has trainer buy horses with cash in the trainer’s name of course, trainer has green light OR races where there is virtually no testing and is willing to use or do about anything to win races. Trainer wins at 65-70% clip with horses in his name and year after year can’t pay bills to get out of town but no one in authority finds this to be odd? Everyone from top to bottom is guilty in this deal. Vet ( who bills the real owner) Bookkeeper (who sends purse money to real owner) jock, trainer, groom, stewards (who turn a blind eye) and investigators (guilty of being too stupid to do their dang jobs!), commission for allowing it all to happen.

    • Jay Stone

      Been going on forever at most racetracks. A lot of it is hidden ownership. Which is easy to prove. If a trainer had 5000 to his name and suddenly is claiming 100000 dollars worth of animals. Money laundering at its easiest to prove. The Bookeeper is bound to send more to licensed owner so she wouldn’t be at risk.

  • azeri1

    Yes just more passing knowledge on “the problem that in reality doesn’t exist”, Right Phillp Hanrahan? Everyone in horse racing is honorable and appropriately self-policing.

    Here we have at least two horses that may have been saved from potential breakdowns, Papaleo and Strong Resolve may have lived another day thanks to track monitoring.

    Wells must have been repeatedly observed injecting and/or doping horses for the indictment against him to have been worded in the fashion that it was.

    As for Robertson, well let’s just misinform the betting public and others as to the workout times and even the occurrences of workouts. I’ll bet, if such allegations turn out to be true, his palms were greased pretty handily for colluding in a stunt like that.

    But everything is working just right in the world of horse racing and outside monitoring is unnecessary because the offenders are being outed and tried, NOT by the governing organization, but by the FBI.

  • Steve

    Take the Slot money away from the horsemen and give It to the horseplayer.

    • betterthannothing

      Since no one forces horseplayers to bet, I’ll say invest that slot money wisely to benefit horses and the honest, caring horsemen by making racing humane, safer, fair and respectable by first and foremost replacing drugs with sound horsemanship and adding surveillance and security around horses and barns!

      • Steve

        Since no one forces trainers to train, I’ll say take the slot money away.

  • JoeJoe

    Wells and Webbs horses allowed to run tonight????

    • JoeJoe

      Now they just scratched the rest of them…

  • stixnstones42

    Let’s not the Penn National Stewards who are widely known to permit trainers to submit phony workouts when a horse has not, in fact, had a timely work under the rules. This “courtesy” prevents a scratch (and loss of mutual dollars) but is nothing less than complicity in providing false information to bettors all over the country.

    • Three Blind Mice

      Those Stewards have about as much control as a 90 year old with a weak bladder. The one fell out of a golf cart and the curly haired one might have trouble making change at your local Sunoco. They would be better off hiring three used blow up dolls. Less hot air and more ambition.

    • laterush

      Penn National needs new stewards. phony workouts will kill racing.

      • Bob

        Time only counts when your in jail

  • Sandi York

    What’s horse racing going to do? The racino stepped in and single handedly saved horse racing in Pa and a few horsemen in neighboring states. I suppose as a thank you these individuals decided to put the nail in the coffin by this egregious act of crookery to an already down on its character perception sport. Well, I have always said zero tolerance, absolutely zero tolerance for people you undermine the integrity of racing. Still you hear of relaxed punishments for even some of the nefarious types. Watch and see sometime in the very near future there won’t be anything to tolerate.

  • Ghost of P Jenkins

    You guys ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait till you see who the get with the info I gave. Sleep well scumbags!!

  • BK

    Keep digging boys and get more of the SOB’s. It’s over when the fat ankles sing – ever heard of giving the poor bastards some time off? I think all states should have the claiming protection that others have, if they did they would stop running sore horses- making them look like super stars and hope they get claimed off them. How dishonest is that! The dirty disgrace of this sport!! And they say they are in it for the love of the horse- I hope St. Peter at heaven’s gate shows them the same love.

    • Kim Howell

      you drifted over from that PETA site Horse Racing Wrongs, didn’t you? *smh* I’m ecstatic they’re cracking down but you sound hopeful they end horse racing!!

      • Roisin

        If there is an end it will be thanks to the internal rot !! My family runs a lot of horses coast to coast but mainly East coast. I have been digging and “watching” and can say I’m amazed at what I see. I actually would like for us to exit because it is by no means a level playing field and it is not confined to the claiming ranks !!! I’m the advocate for the horses and I must say mentioning claiming for any of our horses keeps me awake at night and that’s the truth.

      • laterush

        Oh its far away from PETA site. its only focus is Horse racing, ones that trash it all from inside and out. Front side and Back side. Maybe if those who wrong see their names dragged through mud more often(as they do to their horses), it will help clean racing up more in the long run. Why would you knock that?

  • Hard Time

    Word is there are allegedly 40+ more indictments to come down. This is not over and I wonder if a steward let phony works to leave john bogare voice we’ve all herd it “ladies and gentlemen the 3 horse in this race had a late workout…” Rodney and Scottie should be very concerned in my opinion. I do like silver though he’s a good kid

    • 4Bellwether666

      Dan left town when Charlie went down!!!…Just say n…

      • freewill72

        You have no clue what you’re talking about. Just sayin’.

        • 4Bellwether666


        • 4Bellwether666

          I for got more than you will EVER know…Book that…

  • Mossman Prophecies

    I’m sure they haven’t spent years investigating, just to nab a few trainers and the clocker. I can’t imagine the anguish that is felt by those knowing that each day could be their last of freedom. The FEDS are methodical and prepared. And you get the feeling that time is running out for a few fine citizens. This game is about over.

  • Bill Casner

    In the late 70’s the FBI using the RICO laws (racketeering) convicted over 40 jocks, gamblers, mobsters etc. of race fixing. Jose Amy, Ben Feliciano, and Mike Venezia all testified about receiving or being offered bribes to fix races from ex-jock Con Errico. Other prominent jocks were mentioned in testimony but were not convicted.

    Prior to this, race fixing had been rampant.
    With the Feds using federal racketeering laws to pursue and convict and instill fear, race-fixing has virtually disappeared. Jail is not the best place for a little guy.

    This is what it’s going to take to change the behavior of those trainers and vets that cheat.

    If the trainers and vets that were implicated in the Demorphin (a class 1 narcotic) positives had been led off the racetrack in handcuffs, and charged under federal laws, it would have sent a strong message to trainers and vets and served to curtail the behavior. Until there is jail time for the cheaters instead of meaningless slaps on the wrist, some trainers and vets will continue to push the envelope and cheat.
    Hopefully, the Feds will continue to be pro-active in pursuing those who break the law on the backsides across America.

    • Sinking Ship

      Totally agree, Bill. A super trainer at Parx just received a 15-day ban for a Class I drug, and now it’s business as usual for him. This is the kind of guy the Feds need to be focusing on, not a woman trainer (Rogers) who has 3 starts to her credit all year (and no wins!).

      • Nybred13

        Awwe Come on…like they said- the amount of the class 1 was so high that it was almost unthinkable that a person would give a horse that much …For Real?? if anyone knows him, knows he is as dumb as a box of rocks. He had.gotten so many cloudy tests prior and assumed the rules dont apply to him…

        Off topic though, look at some of the Parx supertrainers stats since the quarantine. Since some of them took many horses out to be shockwaved close to the races. (like 2-3 days out), they cant do that now. Their horses arent runnig out of the tv like they were. We shall see what happens once the ban is lifted.

      • Gambler115599

        While Rogers may only have 3 starts, she was training her husband’s crop at Penn all summer. He was based at and stayed with his crop at Presque Isle. I assure you, you will see quite a few winners from that duo last summer.

    • Jay Stone

      Well put. The race fixing statute being used as a means to nail people caught illegally medicating horses is a game changer. Watching their next door competitor being led out in cuffs by a contingent of law enforcement agents will put an end to most of the cheating. Whereas in the past you could overmedicate a horse and know if you were caught a year later you might get 30 days now you face federal indictment, jail. And a huge fine.

  • Rapid cheater

    CBS has video of Dave wells doing 21.2 down market street after being released today.

    • Matt D.

      Did Robertson provide that time? Maybe CBS can provide a split-screen along side of Secretariat’s second quarter Preakness!

  • David

    Robertson will make a deal first and blow this wide open. Feds to offer him no jail time plea and he’s going to give names of at least 20 others involved.

    • 4Bellwether666

      You say n he going to snitch on his buddies???…Say it ain’t sow Joe!!!…

      • 4Bellwether666

        Some JERK here missed my whole point…

  • BK

    Barry Irwin- I have become a fan! Great posts. But Know this.Government and Power corrupts Absolutely…Pennsylvania is one of the biggest payola states in the USA, it is so pervasive from the little township governments thru to the governor, you can’t do business here until the right hands are greased- Racing is an inter-state sport, especially here with all the mid-Atlantic tracks so close and horses shipping in and out to race,- and it is us to” we, who want it fair” to demand consistent laws and for the laws be followed- for all. Can we please have a national set of rules! Make justice blind again! Enough of the dirty deals, and protection of certain complicit people, especially here in Pennsylvania. The FBI are dirty little bastards too, but all we have. So all you voices who are disgusted- let others know- write your representatives, your newspapers, and on the back side find a way to shame these Pigs- Because this is a disgrace. And don’t forget to say that this really is a wonderful sport or we could loose it. – And to add, I can’t believe they only took down 4 people, they FBI has been rumored to be a presence for over a year! What?t! – another aside Can Penn National please improve the barns- it looks like bloody Auschwitz on the back side, the most depressing jumbled despair you can imagine. There are a few newer barn but come on, most are a wreck. Holes in the metal, insulation falling down, nails sticking out and plywood patches, and bomb craters in the stall floors.. ever heard of replenish the clay…come on horsemen- and Officials, some level of a standard Please. The horses who give there all deserve better. Hay, water, grain, train and stand up to the greedy owners when a horse needs a lay up, they are not machines, belittle yourselves and educate your owners. Highs and Lows- no guarantees.

    • Roisin

      I really like what you said. You deserve kudos !!

  • pesposito

    This exlains why they didn’t do anything to Rogers when she was caught in August.

  • laterush

    Penn National Sucks! Soon, if all Race Commissions don’t weed out bad asses for good, horseracing is going to continue to suffer then die by self-destruction. Get rid of all the Greedy Self-servers at the top and strip licences forever from all bad trainers who can’t train. And stop over-breeding. Ok Ramseys? There’s enough Kittens! Actually, too many. Besides you are old.
    Clean up Racing. No drug pushing trainers.Stop Slaughter. Dirty little secrets

  • Savi1

    Regardless of what new laws are in place or how many more people you employ to control race horse medicating, there will always be a way for people to find new things and get around the regulations. Certain trainers stand the test of time. You know who they are because their horses race consistently race after race. A good diet, proper fitness, attentive groom and proper race classification will always prevail in the long run. The drugs break a horses blood down, make them prone to injuries and shortens their racing career. There is no profit to drugging in the long run.

  • jon

    wells went from the gate crew to 20% plus trainer over night? non of these people will see 1 day of jail time.The only way to stop this is ban all drugs including lasix!

    • 4Bellwether666

      That’s what you think…

  • Richard C

    If these joints take things so seriously….why does it take the Feds to take out the trash?

  • c bea

    What kind of oversight is there at Penn? Who’s in charge of the racing operations there? FIRED!!!

  • c bea

    Further proof that Penn Gaming only cares about their casino operations as the mismanagement from top to bottom in their racing division continues. Out of control.

  • Ben Hogan

    Lets face it , if you don’t pay your employees a decent wage they will steal from somewhere.Being underpaid makes an employee not fear losing a job as it dosent pay enough anyway.I don’t know what they pay clockers at Penn N. but many of the smaller tracks will try an get away with paying as little as possible.I have raced at smaller tracks in the east and it is pretty common that trainers do a lot of their own vet work because they are trying to save money for themselves and clients.Not an excuse for illegal activities but security at most tracks is very lax.Hell they cant even do the basics of checking licenses at the gate.

    • laterush

      Lot of trainers on the golf course too not at the track.

  • cheri

    Throw the book at them ALL!!!!!!!!!! These greasy devils make me sick.

  • John Sunwack

    We are all aware that the racing industry has its pitfalls. But the good that has transpired at Penn, surely outweighs the bad. I am talking about job creation, increased purses, and medical and pension benefits for local horsemen. Trainers like Beattie and owners like Brown and McClay have invested in the local community and have generated excitement around the racing program, by running top notch, successful racing stables. Without the purchase and proper care of fresh, talented equine athletes, the Grantville oval would still be overshadowed in anonymity. And the Horseman’s organization, under the direction of Mostoller has not only helped to build purses to unprecedented levels, but has also fought to maintain the money that was promised. So, given the tremendous quality of life advantages that horsemen should be so grateful for, lets get a reality check here. In no way, shape , or form, should we let an isolated incident, darken all that racing has been able to accomplish in the State of PA

    • laterush

      The Beatties top notch? They take a lot of Ontario TB at end of race meets and these horses, some are well deserving of winter rest, not forced onward to get more sore or worse than that. Penn (lol) running fresh talented athletes, ya sure!
      HBPA…trainers protective association is exactly right, that’s reality. Plus killbuyer Brian Moore close by who takes the no longer worth feeding horses off to the slaughter plant in Quebec.

      • azeri1

        Well that’s a very unsavory portrait. What you state is the dregs of horse racing, It makes Los Alamitos look rosy. This is why the horses need their own independent advocacy organization that has some teeth.This is why we need the Feds to clean house.The horses always pay with their lives, and the jocks end up the victims of probabilities,

    • Hamish



      Which Beattie?! Because just a few years ago Steph was accused of doing something non-legit. Not to mention she used to bed down with one David Wells. Birds of a feather my friend. Birds of a feather.
      The budget cuts proposed last year should have been put in to place.
      Half those people cry poverty, while spending foolishly, while being shady on their taxes with their umpteen write offs to make it look like they don’t owe taxes, etc. etc. And how exactly are they investing in their local community?
      Just recently one committed a murder/suicide with her infant child in the same room. Numerous illegals working out there or arranging marriages for green cards.
      Yes………… that’s EXACTLY what I want in my community.

  • depperfi5

    Ray Paulick was a heroin addict.. Pretty sure he knows all about injections.

  • Johnny Sease

    About the condition book entries, We all no that extra races are added to suit top trainers and there horses, this should not be legal, because it give the edge to certain horse. Plus we don’t know if kick back are handed out for these extra, In the way of money, dinners,trips,etc.They should put a stop to this! It give the edge to trainers with more horses the advantage.

    • Johnny Sease

      fixing races at p.n.

  • Johnny Sease

    Fixed racing starts with the condition book and the extra races that are added on, How do they get added on by the people at the top. they no whats going on from the beginning. Life long friendships are involved here, there is a click at penn national that goes way back, between top race track officials,and owners, trainers and jockeys. It well not be broken anytime soon.

    • Johnny Sease

      see it all at fixing races

  • bpiets

    our toronto mayor would pass bills to allow doping , even on the job for humans…lol..maybe these persons can bring up their nags to woodbine and fort erie along with themselves and promote ford for election…lol..

  • huh?

    Sure this is the only track this is happening at.

  • huh?

    When is the investigation of the computer programs that are wagering after the race has gone off? Its only been happening since the 2002 Breeders Cup…no hurry.

  • Seems fair enough, if you cheat you pay!

  • oliver williams

    Informative analysis . I loved the analysis . Does anyone know where my company might acquire a sample a form example to use ?

  • psakref

    This is a relief to finally read. I saw a jockey (I’ll call him Mr. H) run 3 longshots in the $, then ran the favorite near last. I’m glad none of the jockeys were involved, even though I never saw Mr. H ride again for the rest of the season.

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