By Ray Paulick
The real-life soap opera that is Penn National racetrack near Harrisburg, Pa., took another strange twist today when Thoroughbred owner and trainer David Wells—the former boyfriend and racing business partner of top trainer and Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association president Stephanie Beattie—was taken into custody by Dauphine County deputies on misdemeanor domestic violence and criminal mischief charges. He was released on $10,000 cash bail.
The charges against Wells are not related to the ongoing grand jury and Pennsylvania State Police investigation of the activities at Penn National that led to the recent arrest of trainer Darrel Delahoussaye on allegations of illegal drugging of horses, rigging a public event (a horse race), and tampering with evidence.
According to sources, Beattie pressed charges against Wells—whose nearly 10-year relationship with the trainer ended recently—when both Beattie and Wells attended a party and Wells is alleged to have struck Beattie and destroyed some property.
Beattie and Wells operated their successful racing stable as partners. According to a 2008 article in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, “Wells assists Stephanie in the training, claiming, evaluating and just plain horse dealing that the sport requires.”
Beattie is currently second in the Penn National trainer standings, with 47 wins in 252 starts.
Beattie did not go to the police immediately after the recent incident, sources said, but later asked authorities to issue a Protection From Abuse order that would prohibit Wells from having any further contact with her. Presumably that PFA order would expedite the termination of any remnants of the Wells-Beattie business relationship.
The charges against Wells–just as the arrest of Delahoussaye did—could cause some in the cross-hairs of what are now multiple Pennsylvania State Police investigations to squirm over fears that he might talk with authorities about those cases.
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