07/13/2009 11:00PM

Dutrow appeals 30-day Kentucky suspension


Trainer Rick Dutrow has appealed a 30-day suspension handed down last week by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, according to documents provided by his lawyer, Frank Becker.

The appeal, filed on Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court in Frankfort, Ky., contends that the commission violated Dutrow s due-process rights by allegedly considering evidence or information that was not also provided to Dutrow s defense. The appeal also contends that the commission based its decisions on "inadmissible and improper evidence," that the comission s drug-testing laboratory did not follow proper procedures, that the commission did not accompany its final ruling with additional facts and conclusions of law, and that the 30-day suspension was "deliberately punitive, discriminatory, and inconsistent" with other similar penalties.

Dutrow was initially suspended for 15 days by stewards at Churchill Downs last year after his horse Salute the Count tested positive for a prohibited level of the bronchial dilator clenbuterol after finishing second in the May 2 Aegon Turf Sprint. On July 7, the racing commission voted 6-5 to increase the penalty to 30 days.

Lisa Underwood, the executive director of the commission, said that several commissioners had voted to double the penalty because of concern over comments Dutrow had made to reporters indicating that he had appealed the first ruling to avoid serving the penalty at a time when he was pointing his horses to several rich stakes.