Richard Dutrow

Richard Dutrow

Mathea Kelley

Need for Dutrow Review Called 'Unfounded'

Attorney for trainer responds to comments in statement Feb. 20 defending his client.

A request Feb. 17 for a full review of trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.’s license in New York is being called “unfounded and irresponsible” in a statement from Dutrow’s attorney, Gerard Romski.

“No one cares more about the well-being of his horses than Rick Dutrow,” said Romski, with the law firm Bauman, Katz, and Grill, in a statement issued Feb 20. “Admittedly, Mr. Dutrow is unique and at times he can be outspoken, but it is these rare qualities that has made him a great success in the racing world.

“Unfortunately, sometimes when you end up in the winner’s circle as often as Mr. Dutrow, others, for their own self interests, will  attempt  to undercut that success by singling Mr. Dutrow out while ignoring the actions of others,” Romski wrote.

Romski’s statement was issued in response to a letter from Ed Martin, president of Racing Commissioners International, to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board asking for a review of Dutrow’s license to determine if it should be revoked.

The letter was written after the New York stewards gave Dutrow a 90-day suspension for a positive drug sample in a winning horse at Aqueduct last fall, as well as for possession of hypodermic needles in his barn, racing regulators said Feb. 16.

Dutrow drew a 60-day suspension from racing stewards for a finding of Class 3 medication Butorphanol in a post race sample of Fastus Cactus, who finished first last Nov. 20 in the third race at Aqueduct. Officials say the horse is disqualified and unplaced in the finish order. The hypodermic needle finding carries a 30-day suspension.

According to Martin, the recent ruling is merely the latest in a long history of repeated violations by Dutrow.

Martin’s Feb. 17 letter to the New York board said racing regulatory jurisdictions have sanctioned Dutrow at least 64 times for various rule violations in nine different states at 15 different racetracks since 1979. Dutrow has been cited in New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, California, and Minnesota.

Dutrow has appealed the stewards’ ruling, and Romski said he expects his client's name will eventually be cleared.

“In regard to the recent suspensions, which as you know are the subject of an appeal, we are thankful that the current members of the New York State Racing and Waging Board respect due process, and we are confident that when all the facts are brought to the light of day that Mr. Dutrow will be fully vindicated.”

Romski said he hopes Martin “did not rush to judgement” and that “he paid more attention to the actual facts when he was in charge at  the New York State Racing and Waging Board than he has demonstrated in his recent unfounded and irresponsible letter.”

Martin was formerly the director of the New York Racing and Wagering Board.