A hearing officer has recommended the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission overturn a 15-day suspension given trainer Rick Dutrow for a positive clenbuterol test, but the commission has indicated it will challenge the finding.
Hearing officer James Robke said in his report the KHRC “has not met its burden” to prove by a “preponderance of evidence” the factual allegations against Dutrow were true, and that the sanctions were appropriate. Robke issued his recommendation Oct. 7; the parties have 15 days to file exceptions.
“The staff of the KHRC has reviewed the hearing officer’s recommendations to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regarding the stewards’ ruling against trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.,” KHRC executive director Lisa Underwood said Oct. 10 in a statement. “We have concluded that we have a strong basis for filing exceptions to the recommended order, and we intend to do so promptly.”
According to documents in the case, the Dutrow-trained Salute the Count tested positive for clenbuterol, a bronchodilator, after a May 5 race at Churchill Downs. The horse was disqualified from all purse money.
Iowa State University, which does equine drug testing for the KHRC, and Louisiana State University, which tested the split sample from Salute the Count, detected 41 picograms per milliliter and 40 pg/ml, respectively, in plasma. Robke’s report said the KHRC failed to prove the samples were in excess of the threshold of 25 pg/ml in serum, as stated in racing rules.
No evidence was presented to explain the difference between plasma and serum, the report said.