09/09/2009 12:00AM

Dutrow gets deal on ban in Kentucky


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Trainer Richard Dutrow will begin serving a 30-day suspension imposed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Nov. 15, under the terms of a settlement that the trainer reached with the state's regulators, according to a statement from both parties.

The settlement, which was approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission at a meeting on Tuesday outside of Lexington, requires Dutrow to drop a lawsuit he filed against the commission in Franklin County Circuit Court in Kentucky as part of his appeal of the penalty. Dutrow will serve the suspension until Dec. 15, when he is typically based at Aqueduct in New York.

Dutrow was initially suspended in 2008 for 15 days by Kentucky stewards after a horse he trains, Salute the Count, tested positive for a prohibited level of clenbuterol, a bronchial dilator, after finishing second in the Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on May 2 of that year. Clenbuterol is classified as a Class B drug in Kentucky.

Dutrow appealed the suspension, and, after several hearings, the commission increased the penalty to 30 days in June on a 6-5 vote. After the vote, the commission's executive director, Lisa Underwood, said that some members of the commission were concerned about comments that Dutrow made that indicated he filed the appeal to avoid serving the days at a time when his horses were preparing for major stakes races.

Also as part of the settlement, Salute the Count will be placed last, and purse earnings will be redistributed to reflect the new order of finish.

* Keeneland Racecourse received approval at the Tuesday meeting to move the time of its first post on Friday, Oct. 9 to 2:15 p.m., instead of 1:10. Keeneland officials said in a letter to the commission that the change would allow more patrons to attend the races on Friday, which is the track's opening weekend for its three-week fall meet.

Also, the commission approved a request by Keeneland to pay awards from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund to all horses who run in a race, instead of those that finish in the top three positions. Keeneland did not specify the size of the awards by finish positions, but officials indicated t the meeting that the awards for horses that do not finish in the money would be minor.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the terms of the settlement between Dutrow and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The commission did not waive a requirement that Dutrow transfer horses out of his barn during the 30-day clenbuterol suspension, as that was not part of the initial penalty. Such a transfer is required only in a second violation of a drug labeled Class B, such as clenbuterol.