05/01/2005 11:00PM

Dutrow suspended 60 days


Richard Dutrow Jr., one of the leading trainers on the New York Racing Association circuit, will begin serving a 60-day suspension on June 1 and must pay a $5,000 fine as the result of two medication positives and a violation of a claiming rule.

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced the penalties Monday as part of a comprehensive settlement to an ongoing battle between the board and Dutrow. The board actually suspended Dutrow for 120 days, but stayed half of them "provided that during the next year Dutrow not commit any significant violation of Board rules, including any violation of Board equine drug or claiming rules," according to a board press release.

For Dutrow dropping all of his previous appeals, the board had reduced the number of days from 135.

"The Board continues to take a firm stance against the inappropriate use of equine drugs and believes strongly about holding people accountable for their violations," said Stacy Clifford, spokesperson for the board.

Reached by phone in New York on Monday, Dutrow declined comment. During the suspension, Dutrow will be denied access to the grounds of NYRA tracks, and his horses must be turned over to an assistant in order to run.

The announcement of these penalties comes just four days before Dutrow is to saddle probable favorite Sis City in the Grade 1, $500,000 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

Dutrow had a medication positive on April 27, 2003, when Farmer Jake tested positive for mepivacaine, an anesthetic, after running in the sixth race. For that violation, Dutrow received a 45-day suspension and a $3,000 fine.

On Jan. 11, 2004, Starship Smokestar tested positive for clenbuterol, a bronchodilator, after running in the second race at Aqueduct. For that suspension, Dutrow was fined $2,000 and suspended 15 days. Initially, Dutrow was given a 30-day suspension and $1,000 fine.

Dutrow also faced 60 days for a claiming violation that occurred in the spring of 2004. On May 12, Dutrow claimed Cap in the name of Sanford Goldfarb and transferred the horse to Larry Roman, another of Dutrow's owners, who was ineligible to claim.

Dutrow was the leading trainer in New York in wins in 2001 and 2002. He finished second in 2004. He has won numerous training titles in New York, including the recently concluded Aqueduct spring meet. Through Sunday, his 60 wins rank him ninth nationally.