Updated on 01/23/2013 1:47PM

Dutrow to begin suspension Thursday


Richard Dutrow Jr. was to begin serving a 10-year suspension of his trainer’s license on Thursday but said he will not give up his fight to get back on the track at some point in the near future.

“I’m going to keep fighting,” Dutrow said Wednesday morning, one day before his suspension was set to begin.

Dutrow’s attorneys were expected on Wednesday to file a request for an injunction in federal court seeking a stay of the suspension handed him by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, but they did not do so. It was unclear why his attorney, Mitchell Elman, did not file, and neither Elman nor Dutrow returned repeated messages Wednesday afternoon.

Dutrow was suspended in Oct. 2011 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for a history of rules violations that, most recently, included a positive test on a horse at Aqueduct in Nov. 2010 as well as having three syringes loaded with a banned substance in the desk drawer of his Aqueduct office.

Earlier this year, Dutrow was denied his appeal of the board’s ruling by a mid-level state court of appeals, and the state’s highest appeals court on two occasions declined to hear the case.

Dutrow claims to have new evidence that he believes will help him achieve his injunction and/or a stay if he is able to present it before a judge. Neither Dutrow nor his attorney Elman would elaborate on the evidence.

“We thought we were going to get it in, but we’re dead so now we have to find another way to get it in, and we will,” Dutrow said.

Dutrow did go out a winner as his Colossal Gift won Aqueduct’s ninth race on Wednesday. He was not present at the track for the race and has not been present in the afternoons since he was officially handed notice of his suspension last week.

“I just watch the races at the house. It’s no big deal, I’m not ducking anybody,” Dutrow said Wednesday morning. “I haven’t changed my format in any kind of way.”

Beginning Thursday, he will have to change his format as he will not be permitted on the grounds of any New York Racing Association track – Aqueduct, Belmont, or Saratoga. Since most states abide by suspensions, Dutrow most likely will not be able to participate in racing in any jurisdiction. That includes Florida, where he has horses stabled at Palm Meadows and Gulfstream Park.

On a gloomy Wednesday morning at Aqueduct, Dutrow was at the barn where he simply jogged all of his horses over Aqueduct’s sloppy inner track.

He seemed resigned to his fate as he spoke quietly, sitting in his black Mercedes, hours before his lawyers had been scheduled to go to court.

“If it doesn’t go my way I’m going to have to do something,” Dutrow said. “I don’t know exactly what yet, so we’ll see. I’m just hoping that we win [in court] today after that I’ll deal with [what’s] next – I don’t know what that is, but I’ll deal with it.”

Dutrow, 53, has been around horses his entire life. He worked for his father, trainer Richard Dutrow Sr., before going out on his own. He had a checkered career with multiple rules infractions mixed with multiple stakes victories. In 2005, he won the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Saint Liam, who went on to be voted Horse of the Year.

In 2008, Dutrow won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Big Brown.

Dutrow has been a lightning rod on the racetrack. The majority of trainers respect him as a horseman. Outsiders view him as a cheater. “It’s just like A-Rod,” Dutrow said, referring to New York Yankees starter Alex Rodriguez. “Some people love him, some people hate him, some people don’t care. It’s been like that all my life. A lot of people like me, a lot of people don’t. A lot of people don’t care. If you would ask my horses, all of them love me, all of them. That’s why I’m here – for the horses.”

Note: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of Dutrow's last winner. The trainer's last winner was Colossal Gift, not Coalition.