Updated on 04/12/2012 12:52PM

Maryland upholds DQ of Dutrow trainee

Maryland Jockey Club/Jim McCue
King and Crusader crosses the wire first in the Maryland Juvenile Championship only to be disqualified because of the timing of Lasix administration.

The Maryland Racing Commission voted unanimously to uphold a decision to disqualify King and Crusader from his win in the 2011 Maryland Juvenile Championship, casting aside an appeal by the colt’s owner, James Riccio Sr., according to officials involved in the case.

Voting 5-0 after a four-hour hearing, the commission upheld a ruling from the stewards at Laurel Park that King and Crusader should have been disqualified from the Dec. 17 stakes because the horse was treated with the anti-bleeding medication furosemide – commonly known as Lasix – approximately one hour before post time, in violation of a state rule that says that no medication can be administered to a horse within two hours of a race.

The case is being closely watched nationally because King and Crusader is trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., who is facing a 10-year suspension from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board from last October for what it called his long history of violations nationwide. Dutrow, who continues to train while he appeals the New York ruling, was fined $500 for his role in the King and Crusader incident, a penalty that was also upheld by the commission, according to J. Mike Hopkins, the commission’s executive director, who did not have a vote in the case.

Riccio said that he would consider whether to appeal the ruling over the next several days in consultation with his attorney, the former jockey agent Drew Mollica. An appeal would have to be made with the Maryland Circuit Court within 30 days of the attorney general approving the ruling, which is likely to happen this week.

“I’d have to say probably not,” Riccio said, when asked whether he would appeal. “We’ll discuss it and digest it for the next few days.”

Riccio has argued that state and track officials failed to provide adequate instruction to Dutrow when he notified the track that King and Crusader had been delayed while shipping in from New York to Maryland. According to Riccio, track officials did not tell Dutrow that it would be illegal to have the horse administered furosemide after he arrived, although they did provide recommendations on the amount of furosemide that should be administered.

“We don’t deny the horse was treated within the window,” Riccio said. “But it was due to their negligence.”

The stewards had rejected that argument, holding that the trainer is ultimately responsible for any rules violation, an argument that the commission accepted, according to Hopkins.

“The horse was treated within two hours,” Hopkins said. “It’s pretty straightforward.”

During the hearing, it became apparent that at the time of the Maryland Juvenile Championship, Maryland’s stewards were not receiving slips prior to races indicating which horses had been treated with furosemide and when the administrations took place, as required by regulation. Following the Dec. 17 race, Hopkins said, the commission began requiring the dissemination of the slips again.

chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Connecticut is now the latest state to pass a "go on and murder someone and you won't pay with your own life law". Trainers caught using pain killers on race day are slapped on the wrist and receive Eclipse awards. One of the greatest trainers of our time walked away from racing citing chemical warfare. The worst of the worst and the trend setter of 'drill'em til they drop' is in the Hall of Fame. Your own kid can flip the bird to a teacher or to you and defy you to smack him. When he sees the bad guys get away with it then THAT becomes the rule in his world. The liberals have part of their utopian dream in place. No one gets punished. Pletcher is probably gonna make that Hall while Billy Turner probably never will. Pletcher would have had Seattle Slew all screwed up or broke down in less than a month. Thanks to all you liberals out there. We really like the way you're doin' us... AND the horses. What is it gonna take to get one of these slimeballs ruled off for life?
R D B More than 1 year ago
dutrow should be shot up with lasix..............
Andy Villanueva III More than 1 year ago
How do you not know the rules of where you are entered? That allow should get you suspended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It really is sad that in the greatest sport in the world that this guy,and the others that most of us are aware of, can manipulate the system the way he does. Old timers,remember back in the 80's when Barrera was winning at about a 25% clip and finally he was caught and didn't have another winner for a few hundred starts? It ain't an easy game and to survive in the business one needs to find an edge but let that edge come from jockey changes ,strategies, and legitimate ways. The NTRA has to get the sport together and have all racetracks on the same page.
Charles Decker More than 1 year ago
Dutrow, Lake, Mullins, Ness, Sadler, Asmussen, Pletcher, Amoss, Tropicana, Ocean Spray, Minute Maid.
Joe Rotell More than 1 year ago
this guy dutrow just don't learn
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
The rule that needs to change is that a suspended trainer who can't race in a certain state, but is allowed to train elsewhere and sends his horse to a state that he currently can't run in, but is allowed to transfer his name to another trainer and reverts back when he leaves the state. Typical Dutrow on this. He finds a way to stick around.
john More than 1 year ago
I used to train and drive harness horses back in the 80's and 90's, so I understand this business top to bottom. I follow and support the thoroughbred industry with a passion and am amazed that Richard Dutrow, with all of rule violations and fines and suspensions is still allowed to enter any racetrack in the country, let alone still hold a valid trainers license. He's making a mockery of the racing commission and has been for way to long. Enough is enough, winning is what this game is all about, but the sport of kings will survive without the likes of trainers like Richard Dutrow. And this is coming from a bettor who loves to wager on his horses, only because I know that when he puts a horse on the track, he's competing with more than just HAY and Oats in his system!
Stephen More than 1 year ago
Dutrow can not get licensed in NJ
RunningDog More than 1 year ago
Time for this guy to go away. Maybe, I doubt it though, it will send a signal to the other dozen or so around the country who are just like him. Not saying he is any worse than the others, he is somewhat of a scapegoat I believe to the ground swell out there. But it is what it is.
Arlene Factor More than 1 year ago
10 years isn't enough
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is why we need a national racing commision. That way Dutrow could not race anywhere. His appeal in New York is a joke. Enough of this cheating fraud.