Derby-winning trainer Dutrow has license revoked

October 12, 2011 - 4:45 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. had his license revoked and was barred from racing in New York for 10 years by the state Racing and Wagering Board on Wednesday.

In its ruling, 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, but the horse was pulled up and finished last in the Belmont Stakes in his bid to win the Triple Crown.

Board chairman John Sabini said Dutrow's "repeated violations and disregard of the rules of racing has eroded confidence in the betting public and caused embarrassment throughout the industry.

"New York's racing industry has no place or patience for Mr. Dutrow," Sabini said.

The board's hearing officer had recommended Dutrow be barred for life after three days of hearings over the summer.

The suspension is effective Oct. 18. It was not immediately known if Dutrow would appeal.

The 10-year ban and $50,000 in fines represent one of the most significant cumulative penalties issued by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

"Today's ruling ... is a clear indicator that regulators will not tolerate a pattern of disregard for the rules of racing by a licensee," said Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. "Integrity is an indispensable part of thoroughbred racing, and all participants must abide by this principle in order to retain the privilege of participation."

The board's decision resolves two specific matters that arose in November 2010: Dutrow's horse Fastus Cactus tested positive for the drug butorphanol — a pain killer 10 times more potent than morphine — after winning the third race at Aqueduct Racetrack on Nov. 20; and three hypodermic needles "loaded with the drug xyzaline" were found in Dutrow's desk in Barn 10 at Aqueduct on Nov. 3.

Xyzaline is an analgesic and tranquilizer that can enhance performance by alleviating lameness or calming a nervous horse.

The board suspended Dutrow twice in February for a total of 90 days for those two violations. In March, New York racing authorities deemed Dutrow "obnoxious" and "unbecoming" and ordered him to show why he should not be suspended, lose his license and be kicked off state tracks after years and dozens of sanctions.

Dutrow has won more than a dozen training titles in New York over the past 10 years. He also trained 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam. This year, the 52-year-old Dutrow has nearly $3 million in purse earnings and is considering one of the nation's more prominent trainers.