09/01/2004 11:00PM

Dutrow suspended 60 days

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. was suspended 60 days by the New York stewards for a rules violation in regards to a claim he made at Belmont Park in May. Dutrow appealed the suspension and has received a stay to continue training.

Carmine Donofrio, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board steward, said that the investigation is ongoing and that he couldn't comment further on the matter.

On May 16, Dutrow claimed Cap for his primary owner, Sandy Goldfarb, for $17,500. A few days later, according to Dutrow, Goldfarb sold the horse to another owner of Dutrow's, Lawrence Roman. New York rules state that if a horse is claimed it cannot be sold or transferred to anyone wholly or in part, except in a claiming race, for a period of 30 days. Cap ran on June 12 with Goldfarb as the listed owner. When Cap ran on July 22, Roman was the listed owner.

"I claimed it for Sandy, and after a certain amount of days Sandy decided to sell the horse to one of my other owners, Larry Roman,'' Dutrow said.

The stewards are also investigating whether the claim made by Goldfarb was for more than one party, including one or more who may have been ineligible to claim.

Dutrow said he felt the suspension was too severe and believes the stewards - specifically New York Racing Association steward Dave Hicks - have a vendetta against him.

"I truly believe Mr. Hicks has a problem with me,'' Dutrow said. "I don't know what it is.''

Said Hicks: "I have no problem with him. I have a problem with people who violate the rules. That's my problem. I'm here to uphold the rules, and I'm going to uphold them.''