Judge grants Dutrow a 30-day stay on horse training ban

Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. can continue training horses, at least for another

Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. can continue training horses, at least for another month, as a judge this morning granted him a 30-day stay on his 10-year training ban in New York.

The judge granted the stay, agreeing with Dutrow’s attorney that any start of the ban now would do irreparable harm to Dutrow’s career.

The stay now allows Dutrow to file a formal appeal of the state Racing and Wagering Board’s decision.

The board banned Dutrow related to one of his horses testing positive for a banned substance after a race and possession of hypodermic syringes without a license.

Dutrow’s attorney, Michael Koenig, argued to acting Supreme Court justice Richard Giardino that, even if Dutrow were to win on appeal, he would have lost all his clients by then, without a stay of the board’s ruling.

“We’re not trying to delay a resolution to this case,” Koenig told Giardino in arguments at the Schenectady County Courthouse. “We’re trying to have an independent court review, under Article 78, what we believe was an illegal and improper decision by a administrative body.”

Giardino agreed to grant the stay, noting that his finding was not in any way a finding on the merits of the case, or a commentary that the board’s decision was invalid or improper.

But, he said, Dutrow should be able to pursue his appeal rights, without unduly affecting his livelihood interests.

In its ruling last week, the board cited Dutrow’s long history of rules violations, including numerous medication violations. Dutrow won the Derby and the Preakness with Big Brown in 2008.

According to a news release from the board, its decision resolves two matters that arose last November.

On Nov. 3, three unlabeled syringes containing xyzaline were found in Dutrow’s desk at Aqueduct Racetrack. It is an analgesic and tranquilizer that can enhance performance by alleviating lameness or calming a nervous horse.

Then on Nov. 20, his horse Fastus Cactus ran the third race at Aqueduct with butorphanol in its system, a drug 10 times more potent than morphine, intended to act as a narcotic pre-anesthetic to sedate a horse for a joint exam, or as a pain-killer for horses with severe colic. It can affect the horse’s performance by blocking pain and acting as a quieting agent for nervous horses.

The $50,000 fine is a combination of $25,000 for each of these offenses.

The suspension was to go into effect Tuesday. That has now been delayed 30 days.

In their appeal filing, to come by that 30-day deadline, Dutrow is expected to request a continuation of the stay.

Dutrow has been in trouble before. He was suspended 45 days and fined $3,000 in 2003 for a mepivacine violation; he was suspended 15 days and fined $2,000 in 2004 for a clenbuterol violation; and he was suspended 15 days in 2008 for a clenbuterol violation in Kentucky.

The board also said he falsified license applications in California in 1979, Kentucky in 1995 and Delaware in 2000.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Categories: Sports

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