12/31/2010 3:04PM

Dutrow horse tests positive for undisclosed medication

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. faces possible sanctions after one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance following a race at Aqueduct on Nov. 20.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. faces possible sanctions from the New York stewards after one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance following a race at Aqueduct on Nov. 20, according to the stewards.

Fastus Cactus, who won the third race at Aqueduct on Nov. 20, is the focus of “an ongoing investigation,” according to state steward Carmine Donofrio, who would not confirm the medication in question or comment further on the matter.

Dutrow, reached by phone Friday in Florida, said he had no knowledge of which medication for which the horse tested positive, but confirmed that he had been notified of the situation by the New York stewards.

“I have no idea what they’re up to,” Dutrow said. “I’ve been through this many times before. It’s all up to them, isn’t it?”

Dutrow, who won the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Big Brown, has been penalized in New York and Kentucky for medication violations, most recently in 2008 when Salute the Count tested positive for an overage of clenbuterol, a bronchial dilator, when he finished second in the Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs the day before Big Brown’s Derby. Dutrow served 30 days for that violation at the end of 2009.

Fastus Cactus has a history of bearing out badly in his races, but he’s been talented enough to overcome that to win 7 of 13 races.

Fastus Cactus was claimed out of the Nov. 20 race by owner-trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul, who ran him back in a $20,000 claiming race on Dec. 3, which Fastus Cactus won. Trainer Neal Terraciano claimed the horse out of that race for $20,000, but was given the option to return the horse to Chatterpaul, which he did.

Chatterpaul, who had not been notified the horse had tested positive until after he ran the 4-year-old gelding, also had the option of returning him to Dutrow, but opted to keep him. Fastus Cactus was entered to run in a $20,000 claiming race here on Thursday, but was scratched because he had a cough and a temperature, according to Chatterpaul. Donofrio said that Fastus Cactus is eligible to race.

Chatterpaul said he opted to keep Fastus Cactus because “I like the horse and I think I can do well with him.”

Terraciano said his owner, Kathryn D’Agostino of EdKat Stables, no longer wanted the horse after she learned it had come back with a positive test.