04/29/2005 12:00AM

Dutrow horse skips test


Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. was fined $1,000 by the Backstretch Violations Panel of the New York Racing Association because one of his horses was not brought over for prerace testing.

According to David Hicks, the NYRA steward and a member of that panel, one of Dutrow's employees brought the horse Epic straight from Dutrow's barn to the paddock for the sixth race at Aqueduct on April 17 without first having undergone the mandatory prerace tests for alkalizing agents. Epic finished fifth in the six-horse field.

Hicks, who serves on the violations panel along Bob Flynn, executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Horseman's Association, and Ken Cook, NYRA's director of security, said Dutrow was not present that day.

Hicks added that the stewards did not have the authority to scratch Epic from the race "for the simple reason we didn't have a rule in place to scratch him. . . . But as far as a fine is concerned, it was failure to tend to business in a proper manner."

Hicks said that rules regarding punishment for failing to have a horse tested should be in place by Wednesday's opening of the Belmont spring meet.