06/25/2008 7:35PM

Bad Rap Sheet?


By now you've doubtless read somewhere about trainer Rick Dutrow's "72 citations for offenses" (Sports Illustrated), his "72 separate rules violations" (espn.com), or, in the even looser reporting standards of the blogosphere, his "72 suspensions" or "72 doping violations." Problem is, it all stems from the same source and neither the number nor the characterization of what they constitute appears to be true.

The source for the 72 supposed infractions is a database search from the Association of Racing Commissioners International, as published on The Baltimore Sun's website during Preakness Week. The header of the 33-page report begins "richard eugene dutrow Rulings Against: 72" and apparently that's about as far as a lot of people read:

1. Only 59 "rulings" appear to be listed as opposed to the 72 in the header.

2. Many of them are duplicative or are the second or third iteration of a single ruling following a modification or appeal.

3. Some of them are not "rulings against" Dutrow at all, such as the four in which racing commissions ruled he was "restored to good standing" after paying fines or restitution.

4. Many of them do not have anything to do with administering illegal medication, and are for such common infractions as failing to have foal papers on file, providing the correct owners' colors to the jockey room, or failure to follow entry and scratch procedures. Eight of them involve his personal marijuana use and posession more than 15 years ago.

It appears the correct number of medication rulings is 13, not 72: six Bute overages, four Lasix overages, two for clenbuterol, and the mepivicaine positive for which he was suspended (along with a clenbuterol positive) 60 days in 2005. This is not a record worthy of consideration for the Exemplar Of Racing Award, but it's also not 72 cases of doping horses.

Below is a summary of the "rulings" listed in the ARCI document, which appears to omit the $25k fine New York assessed for Dutrow's violating the terms of his 2005 suspension by communicating with his assistants. Also, the first item was not in the ARCI report, which was generated a month earlier.

Callmetony More than 1 year ago
steve and guys Just opened my house up @ the lake by the spa . Can;t wait for the meet to start . No bobble head day this year what's that about? ha . As a matter of fact all the giveaways look like junk . Maybe that will keep the spinners away (which is a good thing ) Hopefully we will get some real races as opposed to what NYRA has been throwing at us . 5 horse fields.
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
I see I missed a good one while my internet access was down for 5 days. I add up the fine total to be $33,650. A little less than the $200k Dickie D is reported to have bet on Saint Liam. Also note that it's a lot cheaper to "necessitate a late scratch" in Maryland or Delaware ($250) than NYRA ($2,500). Although I'm not a big Dutrow fan I don't stick pins in his voodoo doll likeness either. I feel he is being unjustly pilloried by parts of the media as a scapegoat. Drugs are endemic in this game, confusing in their legality, application, and enforcement, and a public lynching of one trainer isn't going to change that.
Captain America More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve: I just watched Perfect Drift clunk it up in the Gold Cup. I love him, though. You know what we need to see? A match race between Perfect Drift and Evening Attire!!! The two grand old men of the circuit. Or at least a Grumpy Old Fart Handicap, for 8-year-olds and up, and a mile and 3/8ths. What do you think?
Justin More than 1 year ago
If Dutrow could only learn to keep his mouth shut, he makes more trouble for himself. IEAH does not have the best reputation right now so I think it would behoove them to stay put, they have never had this much success with any other trainer. I'm not a big fan of Dutrow but I do not recall any of his horses breaking down recently, so they have to be pretty sound, besides Ashmussen has a much bigger problem than Dutrow.
Diceman More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, I try very hard every day not to judge anyone on Earth! I have a Partner in Heaven, the Good Lord, who is better qualified to judge than I am. But here is the distinction. I am a successful business person and I own and operate a Retail Travel Agency. If possible I would never do business with a Cheat, Criminal or Convicted Felon. The reason are obvious. I could very easily be there next victim (bad check, stolen credit card, identiy theft, etc!) What is most troubling in our current dialogue, apparently the Racing Industry (38 Jurisdictions) does not have any uniform rules and regulations on how to deal with Cheats, Criminals and Convicted Felons! What kind of "business model" have they adoped? Obviously ,it is one that will eventually destroy our great sport! Steve, keep up your great work. At times you are the only Light in the Darkness! Don't give up - we the bettors, the Sports Real Heroes, need you more than ever!
Tony More than 1 year ago
Not more than a day after your clarification on Rick Dutrow's misinterpreted doings, he speaks to the press. And frankly, you gave him better press on Wednesday than he deserved after Friday's press conference. Because, honestly, after those ridiculous comments he gave to the media in which he actually had the gall to paint himself as a victim, and other trainers in NY in the last 20 years as cheats, I now wish to the heavens the earth could open up and swallow him whole. All the fairness you gave to him to clarify the record was wiped out in two days. The horse biz could be a great one if the humans wouldn't suffer from foot-in-mouth disease on such a grand, misguided scale.
woodridgephil More than 1 year ago
seems to me its awful hard to know when to give horses these meds. upto 72hrs before on this one 1 week on this one and so on. i just don't buy these very rich men are giving 25000 claimers "juice".Racing boards need to be more uniform and either stop medicating all together or come up with a step by step process. I for one think the dutrows are good for the game.
Mike P More than 1 year ago
Steve, your comments are so stupid and you are so intelligent that i can only believe you posted it just to get people going and that's exactly what you did...
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
THAT didn't take long! Posted (6/26/08), yesterday, by this writer: "And I suspect that Dutrow's days as IEAH's most prominent trainer are numbered. "The heat is on. This unconscionable man who recklessly scapegoated various people this year will be undoubtedly be surprised when things come full circle - if & when Iavarone & Co. decide that he's expendable - a convenient alibi for everything that suddenly went haywire on the day that Iavarone rang the NYSE opening bell." The, @ twenty-four hours later: NY Post, 10/27/08 (next day): "Big Brown's trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. is on thin ice and in danger of losing all of the IEAH Incorporated owned horses, including the Kentucky Derby winner, due to Dutrow's recent suspension in Kentucky for a clenbuterol positive." Yikes!
Unitas More than 1 year ago
Just saw Saturdays entries @ Belmont, including the Gr.1 Suburban Handicap...Good Lord, this is a Gr.1 in New York? Looks to me more like a glorified overnight stakes...What has happened to this once proud Gr.1 event that used to hold some weight? I believe this race used to be run on July 4th, when there were healthy crowds at the track and a strong handle due to a Holiday crowd. Now it is hidden on a Saturday afternoon, playing second fiddle to the Mother Goose(Gr.1), where there are 4(four!) fillies entered...Looks like NYRA s already starting to pack up for the Spa! Depressing, to say the least...