Richard Dutrow Jr., trainer of 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown, has been banned from racing in New York for 10 years, the state Racing and Wagering Board said.
Dutrow, whose license was revoked effective Oct. 18 to allow another trainer to take over his horses, also was fined $50,000 for violations relating to a positive drug test on one of his racehorses and the unlicensed possession of hypodermic needles, the board said.
“New York’s racing industry has no place or patience for Mr. Dutrow,” John Sabini, chairman of the agency, said in a statement. “His repeated violations and disregard of the rules of racing has eroded confidence in the betting public and caused an embarrassment throughout the industry.”
Dutrow will be in New York State Supreme Court on Oct. 17 to seek a stay to the punishment to allow him to continue training his 68 horses until his appeal is resolved, attorney Michael Koenig of Greenberg Traurig LLP in Albany, New York, said in a telephone interview. The trainer has four months to appeal the board’s decision.
“This decision is unconscionable,” Koenig said last night. “The board’s structure allowed it to play prosecutor, judge and jury. No fair decision can result in such a stacked process.”
Fears Business Losses
The appeals process may take as long as a year in the courts, Koenig said. A stay of the ban would allow the 52-year- old trainer to continue his work until the legal issues are resolved.
“He’s concerned he could lose all his business,” Koenig said.
The ban followed the discovery of three unlabeled syringes of xyzaline, a tranquilizer that alleviates lameness or calms a nervous horse, in Dutrow’s barn at Aqueduct Racetrack last Nov. 3. Three weeks later, a horse trained by Dutrow tested positive post-race for butorphanol, a drug 10 times more potent than morphine that blocks pain.
“His self-described ‘game’ in New York horse racing is over,” Sabini said. “We will not permit individuals who cheat and sully New York’s world-class racing product.”
Since 2003, Dutrow has been fined and suspended for numerous drug violations, the board noted. Kentucky already has barred him from participating in the state, home of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
The board’s ruling “is a clear indicator that regulators will not tolerate a pattern of disregard for the rules of racing by a licensee,” Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said in a statement.
Big Brown won the Derby and Preakness and came in last in the Belmont Stakes when his jockey pulled him up as the colt lost the chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
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