When [Dutrow] came back to the horse racing in 1998, he began rebuilding his career and became one of the sport's most successful trainers — a performance that is continuing unabated. This year, Dutrow's horses are winning at a 33 percent rate. He has 40 wins in 120 starts and is ranked No. 7 nationally, according to Equibase. His horses finish in the top three 74 percent of the time, and as of Friday had won $1,768,583 this year.
No one seems to be questioning the performances of Dutrow's great horses, primarily because of the extensive testing done after Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup and graded stakes races.
"It never entered my mind," Laurel Park trainer Tim Keefe said when asked whether he had doubts about the performances of Dutrow's winning horses. "The races they won, they came up clean. I don't think the shine goes off them. I think they're truly great horses.
"But I don't understand why owners with great horses continue to send their horses to people like that [with questionable reputations]. Why subject your horse to the possibility of that? If I'm an owner, my horse isn't going to a trainer with drug violations."
[Owner James Riccio Sr.] said that he would consider whether to appeal the ruling over the next several days in consultation with his attorney, the former jockey agent Drew Mollica. An appeal would have to be made with the Maryland Circuit Court within 30 days of the attorney general approving the ruling, which is likely to happen this week.
“I’d have to say probably not,” Riccio said, when asked whether he would appeal. “We’ll discuss it and digest it for the next few days.”
Next Tuesday, Dutrow’s appeal of a 10-year license revocation handed him last October by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board will be heard in court in the state capital of Albany. Attorneys for Dutrow and the racing and wagering board – who have already filed written briefs with the court – will be given approximately 10 minutes to argue their positions orally before a judge. The judge, who will have the opportunity to question each attorney, could render his decision in four to eight weeks.
Currently, Dutrow has a valid license and is permitted to run in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida. He was only denied a license in Kentucky. While unable to race in New Jersey that is only because he has not sought a permit.
An interesting stat as well as an unlikely supporter:
Dutrow steadfastly denies that he cheats. And one statistic he uses to support his claim is that he hasn’t had a horse suffer a fatal breakdown in New York since Mansion of Thought broke down on May 24, 2007. Since then, Dutrow has started 1,691 horses (through Wednesday) on the New York Racing Association circuit without a breakdown.
Dr. Larry Bramlage, a nationally prominent veterinarian who was one of six witnesses to testify on Dutrow’s behalf during a three-day hearing held by the racing board last spring, praised Dutrow’s handling of his horses.
“I am very, very happy to work on Rick Dutrow’s horses. He takes excellent care of them,” Bramlage said this week. “There isn’t anybody that’s better picking out when a horse goes off form and needs to be looked at to find out what the problem is. If all trainers handled their horses the way Rick handles them, you’d imagine what the breakdown statistic would be.”
And they did such a nice story on the Oaks pre race telecast on Tony Dutrow...who is everything Rick is not...like honest. Wonder if they will address the problem in the Preakness telecast.
And...alot of folks seem to assume it's all drugs. It's not, he appears to have pulled quite a few stunts resulting in...ahem...surprising orders of finish. Been accused of running a ringer here and there too. Stuff that used to get you booted off the track then and there.
Many feel he is simply a crook whether he treats his horses well or not.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
The court said, though, that there was "substantial evidence" of the racing agency's claims against Dutrow in the Fastus Cactus incident. The judges called "speculative" claims raised by Dutrow as possible alternative explanations for the positive test.
The court said the racing board "properly relied" upon Dutrow's long history of run-ins with regulators for forming the basis of its license revocation.
The 10-year punishment and fine, the court said unanimously, "was not so disproportionate to his proven, recurrent misconduct as to shock one's sense of fairness."
Wow, this is a game changer.
I had half expected the courts/judge to point to the precedent set by racing jurisdictions handing out mild slaps on the wrist for years and rule in favor of Dutrow's claim that the punishment was too severe.
This makes for a whole new world.
On a related note, what has happened to Patrick Biancone? I haven't heard anything about him (or horses he trains) in a long time. Is he suspended or racing at small tracks or in another country? I remember he got caught with snake venom awhile back, but I don't know what happened with that or what he's doing now.
The New York Supreme Court--which is an intermediate level appellate court with the Court of Appeals being their highest and final appellate court--has upheld the ten year suspension. Dutrow still has stall at Saratoga and, thanks to a stay, will be allowed to train there until the NY Court of Appeals decides whether or not to hear the case--if he appeals.
I can see him stretching the Appeals process out for as long as possible; waiting until the last possible day to file his appeal, etc. Once the NY Ct of Appeals decides whether or not to hear an appeal, it will decide whether or not to extend the stay. In the meantime, he can train and race as usual.
Oops. I see this news has already broken here.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
The biggest horse he has right now in his stable is the filly Quaintly, owned by Magnier/Tabor/Smith.
Gotta love these types of owners that keep the cheats in the game. Obviously, they hire them for a reason, and that is because they are willing to "do whatever it takes to win" and that equates to cheating.
These owners who hire drug/animal abusers/cheats should be shunned as well.
The ruling is a substantial blow to Dutrow’s efforts to overturn the 10-year suspension, which was handed down a year ago. Following the suspension, Dutrow was granted a stay that has allowed him to continue to train, and the stay will remain in effect until all of his legal options to appeal in New York’s courts run out.
“The court-ordered stay that allows him to continue to train is still in effect,” a spokesman for the racing and wagering board said Wednesday.
If the Court of Appeals declines to hear the appeal, it is likely that the stay will be lifted and Dutrow will have to pursue any remaining legal options while on the sidelines.
With the decision, a stay that has allowed Dutrow to continue to train while he appeals the suspension is likely to be lifted in the next several days, once Dutrow is served with the court’s opinion. That will send Dutrow, 54, to the sidelines for the first time since the suspension was issued, in October 2011, nearly 14 months ago.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board issued a statement Tuesday saying that “the court’s action confirms that cheaters who repeatedly violate the rules have no place in New York racing.”
According to officials, Dutrow’s next legal option would be to appeal the suspension in federal court. If Dutrow decides to appeal, he could seek to obtain an additional stay while the appeal is heard, but several officials have said that federal courts are not as likely to grant injunctions as state courts, especially after legal options in state court have been exhausted.
Dutrow was the co-leading trainer in New York this year  with 110 wins. It was Dutrow’s fourth New York training title.
Dutrow has been permitted to train while going through his legal options in New York. He was permitted to run his three horses entered on Wednesday – he had two thirds and a fourth – and will continue to be permitted to work until he is officially served notice of the suspension from the state attorney general’s office, according to a spokesman from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
“It is going to happen soon,” said Lee Park, a spokesman for the NYSRWB, who did not have an exact date.
Dutrow had horses entered to run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.