04/14/2013 6:05PM

Kentucky Derby: Vyjack's trip to Churchill Downs delayed while Rodriguez applies for license

Tom Keyser
Vyjack, shown winning the Gotham Stakes, remains at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, where he has been undergoing therapy to help a respiratory ailment.

Vyjack, the multiple graded stakes winning 3-year-old and Kentucky Derby candidate, has been based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland for several days, in part to take advantage of that facility’s hyperbaric chamber to aid with the gelding’s respiratory issues.

The original plan called for Vyjack to return to New York in time to catch a Sunday flight to Kentucky along with Wood Memorial 1-2 finishers Verrazano and Normandy Invasion.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

But, Rudy Rodriguez does not yet have a license to train in Kentucky and therefore his horses are not allowed on the grounds until he gets one. Rodriguez is scheduled to meet on Tuesday with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which requested he appear before it in light of two medication positives for which he has served a suspension and the report of a third one pending.

 On Sunday, Rodriguez attempted to enter the 3-year-old filly Kelli Got Frosty in Thursday’s $100,000 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland. According to Rodriguez, the entry was initially accepted by the Keeneland racing office. However, 30 minutes later, Rodriguez said he received a call that the entry was rejected. Keeneland officials confirmed Rodriguez’s story.

 Rodriguez said a van taking Kelli Got Frosty had already left Aqueduct and he had to call the driver to tell him to return.

“That was kind of disappointing,” Rodriguez said Sunday afternoon from Fair Hill. “They said no trainer could go on the grounds if they don’t have a license.”

Meanwhile, if and when Rodriguez can ship Vyjack to Kentucky won’t be decided until Tuesday when Rodriguez meets with Kentucky racing officials.

 Vyjack, winner of the Grade 2 Jerome and Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct, came out of his third-place finish in the April 6 Wood Memorial with a respiratory issue. A couple of days later he was vanned to Fair Hill, where he has spent about an hour a day for several days in a hyperbaric chamber.

Horses in a hyperbaric chamber breathe pure oxygen under pressure and it gets delivered to any damaged cells to help heal and repair the diseased or injured tissues.

Vyjack has also been training over the dirt surface at Fair Hill and will likely have a workout there late in the week or next weekend, Rodriguez said.

 “The horse is doing very good,” Rodriguez said.

 As for himself, Rodriguez has been driving back and forth from New York to Fair Hill constantly. He had a family member’s First Communion on Saturday and he was back at Fair Hill on Sunday morning to get on Vyjack. He was to get on Vyjack Monday morning and drive to New York for his own daughter’s First Communion before driving back to Fair Hill on Monday night so he could get on Vyjack early Tuesday morning. Later Tuesday morning he has to fly to Kentucky.

 “I think I’ll be okay. I don’t think I got that big of a problem,” Rodriguez said when asked if he feared not getting a license. “This is what I’ve been doing all my life.

 “I don’t have any regrets. Everything is good. Everything is beautiful. I’m not afraid to work. I’m going to keep working hard and hopefully my horses keep running good,” he concluded.




Tony Garrido More than 1 year ago
for me, the problem is you want to start the process of "cleaning" the industry with yhis guy, you have guys like pletcher, baffert, o'neil, all with positives test and they never faced any actions on big stages, like now, why you want to start now, discrimination?
Charles Levy More than 1 year ago
Since 2011 Rudy has had 5 bad tests and one on appeal. 3-11-11AQU Flunixin Eve of Destuction 7 days loss of purse 1k fine . 3-15-11 Parx Beauty Is A Beast MMethylprednisolone 1k no days fine loss purse . 4-17-2012 AQU Heidn Alston Gunter Flunixin 20 days 7,500 fine loss of purse 4-7-2012 Heiden SAR Flunixin 2,500 loss of purse ! Days were added into Hieden prevous bad test . Now not picking on the guy but hehas one pending . If they cant prove someone did it on purpoe He is responsible as Trainer . Secon he sgned a agreement or they gave him a reduced suspion on the basis he stays out of trouble and it was violated by bad test pending . So this is far from over for Rudy ! Sorry ! Getting a Lic to Own Train Ride Etc isnt easy . Yes you are at the mercy of the Racetrack and the State it int easy ! Keep bashing ob he still will be here in ten yrs . All they ask for was a interview .
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
shug have any??? if he has they must be from decades ago
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
I wish all trainers had the luxury of a loyal owner and (to a lesser degree) no claimers.
Clark Brewster More than 1 year ago
Rudy is one of the hardest working trainers in the business. Any one who has visited his barn during training hours would see a hard working, consientious, outstanding horseman. The KHRC appears to be playing to the public to demonstrate some level of careful consideration. Using Rudy, under the circumstances, to accomplish this PR feat is contemptible.
Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
Agreed. Then they just roll out the red carpet for Bob Baffert. How many of Rudy's horses have dropped dead from "cardiac arrest"??? It's a disgrace to the entire industry when certain trainers are singled out, and others are given free passes left and right. I believe the media buildup of Baffert as the poster boy for racing over the last couple of decades has made it too detrimental to use him in this so called "fight" for clean racing. By using lesser known scapegoats, the perception is that it will not damage the reputation of horse racing, as it would if Baffert was held accountable for his offenses.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
100%, word for word my own thoughts, and I couidn't have said that better. Good job.
Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
Ever since Baffert has been exposed (somewhat) in the media, with regards to the cardiac arrest incidents.........almost all of his horses have finished up the track. This is not a coincidence. I'm curious as to what the statistics are since the investigation???
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
And it is no cooincidence that he can't find the winners circle at the Breeders Cup after they started testing for blood doping. His record the last five years is horrendous. How odd that Game On Dude ran a bad race. Not really, and fun to be able to throw the even money favorite off the board. And that rat poison in trace amounts? Found that some use it to thin blood. Ever check out sludging of a horses blood and what causes that? No one ever questions or questioned his high percentage now or during the 90's. He ran up about 20 drug violations in about a 10 year period. No one cared, and apparently no one cares about drug violations prior to 2005. 7 horses die from sudden cardiac failure in 16 months and they call that bad luck.The CHRB is investigating. Don't expect much as apparently Bo Derek was their spokesperson on this as a member of the board. That says it all. Loved your post and agree. If he were a bank he would be bailed out as too big to fail.
Charles Levy More than 1 year ago
I have been on the web for 2 weeks and been calling people in the industry cant find anyone who knows were or how to obtain his records or anyone elses . It s amazing ! I am not disagreeing with the newspaper articles but I want to read the offical stewards rulings . Equibase powers Thoroughbredrulings.com bity it omly goes back to 03 -05 but you cant punch iiin John Henery Name in Equibase and it put up all his past races ! Why ! Why have a website thats incomplete ? It works for the most recent trainers but what about the ones the have been training over 3-4 decades Bobs record goes back to 05 11 violations none drug relate but pre 05 Im hearing morphine 20 or more violations what is it ! Iam friends with Scott Lake he has been training since 1988 his records pnly go back to 04 05 I dont get it ! Its suppose to be public record . I remember when you woukld by the DRF yrs ago it always had a rulings section ! Jockeys getting days trainers with bad test etc . Now it is all hidden !!
Ivan More than 1 year ago
I only have one question: at what point do we as a individuals stop using lame and shameful excuses for our BAD DEEDS and those of OTHERS and begin a process of "RATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY"? Come on people, If you have a minimal I.Q. you are supposed to be able to GATHER RELEVANT INFORMATION, ( win/lose statistics on recently claimed Rodriguez "trained" horses, type of horses - ( older cheap claimers to immediate allowance and stakes winners, tote board oddities, etc.) Mr. Rodriguez was at the most a peripheral player in the industry up until his recent stardom as TOP TRAINER in NEW YORK (as jockey - exercise rider and hot walker) - regardless of who employed him. THE OBVIOUS is THAT - OBVIOUS! At some point even the strangely and shamefully slow regulatory process catches up with these "players" and then - only then - we can begin a process of what I have called RATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY where we all ask OURSELVES what do I know about THIS MESS that we are ALL in and WHAT can we PERSONALLY and COLLECTIVELY can DO to FIX IT! I believe that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has begun that hard and necessary process again as leaders...and it is time to HONOR THAT!
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Can anyone on this board name ONE trainer, who is well known and one of the sports top 10 to 20 trainers, that has never had a bad test of any kind? Nope. This guy's violations are so meaningless and blown so out of proportion that it's ridiculous. And what makes it worse are the morons that know nothing about the backside, yet keep calling him dirty and spouting off without a clue.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
CWineke More than 1 year ago
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
Rudy should wait until the Preakness because it doesnt look like he would do good at the derby distance.
Danny Gonzalez More than 1 year ago
This is being done because he former affiliation with Dutrow. Any assistant of That worked for Dutrow before is being pulled in and harrassed. Kentucky needs a rude awakening and its coming real soon.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
That crowd in Kentucky has got to show its *** every now & then...But rarely when they really ought to...Hope they get this one right because if they don't a ton of people are going to Raise Hell...This one here smells like Guilt by Association as it wasn't like he got caught with Snake Juice or anything close to it...I hope they get this one right (Gamblers got the shaft but they did run Veitch Off) like they did with the Life @ Ten Mess...ty
thrcinc More than 1 year ago
Harrassed hahaha are you taking the same drugs rudy gives his horses, the guy had two suspensions and one pending for drug abuse... harassed hahah he is lucky to still have a lic.
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
banamine is an non steroidal anti inflammatory which is the same classification as aspirin and ibuprofen. It is a legal therapeutic drug. So yes, it's quite possible that Danny and you are in fact taking the same kind of drugs that Rudy has given his horses. When you take aspirin are you a drug abuser?
Richard Luke More than 1 year ago
It is bad very bad what there are doing to rudy
thrcinc More than 1 year ago
are you another idiot? did you bet ion any of the horses his drugged horses ran one... I bet its ok in your mind for baseball players to also take drugs and get an advantage on those who play by the rules. I hope you dont have kids, i'm sure if you do they will grow up thinking the same way... cheat when you can and hope you get away with it
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
He did his time & paid his dime...He has one pending but still has his Lic. in tack in New York...Give the man the Damn Lic in Kentucky & quit jerking him & his connections around...ty...