04/10/2013 3:51PM

Rodriguez faces review by Kentucky licensing committee

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez has been ordered to appear before the Kentucky Licensing Review Committee.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Rudy Rodriguez, trainer of Kentucky Derby contender Vyjack, has been ordered to appear before Kentucky’s state licensing committee next week as a condition of obtaining a license in the state, according to the chairman of the committee.

Burr Travis, chairman of the Licensing Review Committee, said Wednesday that licensing office personnel asked the full committee to review Rodriguez’s application at its upcoming April 16 meeting, citing a recent suspension that Rodriguez served for two overages of the painkiller flunixin. The licensing office also sent over several other licenses for full review as well, Travis said.

“There have been some prior rulings, recent penalties for him,” Travis, an attorney, said. “This is a Derby horse, and he’s never been licensed in Kentucky, ever. This really isn’t that unusual at all for us to do that.”

Karen Murphy, Rodriguez’s attorney, said Wednesday that she has not yet seen the letter that has ordered the trainer to appear before the committee, despite requesting a copy of it Tuesday. She said she wanted to limit her comments about the order until seeing the letter, but she also said she asked commission personnel whether the committee also was calling every other Derby trainer in for a review.

“I want to understand why Rudy is being singled out,” Murphy said. “Every single trainer in that race has some medication history, a lot of them worse than two trace levels of [flunixin], which are just accidents.”

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

Rodriguez, who was notified of another positive for flunixin last week, is a former exercise rider for Richard Dutrow Jr., the controversial trainer who began serving a 10-year suspension earlier this year after exhausting his appeals at the state level. Dutrow’s suspension, issued in New York, was first levied in late 2010, when Rodriguez began training on his own.

In 2011, Kentucky’s Licensing Review Committee denied Dutrow’s application for a license in the state, a decision that limited Dutrow’s ability to renew his license in other states and limited the places where he could start a horse while he appealed his suspension.

Vyjack finished third in the Wood Memorial last weekend at Aqueduct, his first loss in five career starts. He has 70 points under the new Kentucky Derby qualifying system, good for sixth on the overall list.

Lou Baranello More than 1 year ago
It seems that a great many people have difficulty understanding a very simple procedure regarding positive tests and trainers. Because of the wagering that takes place on thoroughbred horse racing, there is a very good reason for the Absolute Insurer rule that makes trainers responsible for any type of a bad test result from a horse in their care. I think that some of these comments are written by those who do not understand the meaning of the term "Absolute Insurer." Perhaps that should be a question on both first time applications for a trainers application AND renewals. There are no exonerating circumstances mentioned in that rule. Quite to the contrary of opinions held by the many who don't know what they don't know.
Alan Rosenthal More than 1 year ago
The Nyra has become a Total Joke! In the early 1980's I made over a Million Dollars betting Oscar Barrea Horses and I was the 1st person in New York to be on to this gimmick... I figured this out Before the general public did and got $20, $30 and $40 dollars on his horses before the rest of the players caught on... Did he wave a Magic Wand or was he a real trainer???..c.DUH! Lets be real... Rudy was Dutrows exercise rider for 20 years! Probably doesn't know a horse from a cow! Jacobson and Ness Etc... Are all Jokes... At least Chad Brown learned from Bobby Frankel who was the Best! It Is All Your VET. and how much he is willing to Play.... Players , learn that or you are playing a game with no chance handicapping! Worst of all is Todd Pletcher who Has to Win to keep his Billionaire Owners Happy! Be glad to answer any questions and can't wait until Pletcher Goes Down...
Charles Levy More than 1 year ago
since 04 Todd has 14 violations ! 1 bad test for Mepivaccine ! Thats it on paper he is clean record is spotless ! Here call me 484 661 9648 i listen o yur BS !! You need to brush up on your facts alittle you do ! Go to OWNERVIEW>COM OR THOROUGHBRERULINGS>COM its all public record forguus ie you who talk BS on things they dont ! Before you come back at me with some malice attack take 5 mintues out of our day and look up there records ! Stop counting your millions for awhile and take look at the records !!!!
Alan Rosenthal More than 1 year ago
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
These black eyes on the sport are very unneccessary. We are talking about traces of Banamine here. We aren't talking about narcotics, milkshakes, or any other forms of obvious cheating. Anyone who knows the backside, knows that mistakes like this have happened since the beginning of time. Banamine and Bute are very similar, but Bute is legal on race day. I've always preferred banamine as it seems to be more effective in our horses. But it is illegal to be in the horses system on race day, even though this was simply traces of the medication, so this guy needs to be punished. But why publicize incidents like this to portray this guy as a cheater? I've never met him so he may or may not be dirty. But I can tell you that a positive test like this doesn't mean he's a cheater. If you got a ticket for doing 46 mph in a 45 mph zone, would you appreciate being labeled as a criminal because you violated a law?
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Ita! It's pretty outrageous. This kind of press trickled down to pressure on the horse at a time when he needs to train and relax. Bc everyone involved with Vyjack's training are probably feeling the pressure as much as Rudy, VJ must feel it as well. This is what it must have been like for IHA team prior to Belmont last June, IMHO!
Margaret Cowan More than 1 year ago
Overages must be punished. These are trainers purposefully using drugs beyond the cutoff times, looking for an edge. It cannot be tolerated. Horses must be DRUG FREE on race day. No excuses.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Totally agree. They have got to be punished and it doesn't matter what the excuse is. I just don't think that every trainer who gets a bad test like this should be labeled a cheat!!!
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Once I can see a mistake , two times is never good , but 3 times , i would call anyone a cheat . Stop doing it and play by the rules it's that plain and simple. Call Banamine what you want, it is illegal to race on period.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
But his horses aren't racing on it. The traces are so minut that it is obvious they werent administered the drug. Like I said, his barn needs to be more careful and should be punished, but this is not cheating.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
There needs to be a distinction between pain killers and other meds such as anitbiotics. Why penalize trainers for meds that help the horse to get well? These actions seem to be totally out of bounds. Help the horse and the bettor to stay well. Penalize for pain killers, yes!!!
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
the rudy jig is up...everyone has known for a while that his horses improve beyond what is possible and normal normal..but the fact remains that there is juice out there capable of making a horse run faster and somebody will use it unless testing is conducted honestly and efficiently..now some may be more daring than others and push the envelope constantly until they get multiple positives and are kicked out but what about the ones that only use it on that special horse on a special day when the money is on...to fix this testing has to be above suspicion like Ceasers wife racing needs not only to be virtuous but seen to be virtuous....we cant have the public suspect every strange occurrence as foul play....for example recently b.baffert horses have been reportedly dying of heart attacks in unusual numbers during training in the morning as reported by a racing publication could this be normal though unusual ?..I bet most racing fans are skeptical they probably suspect drugs are responsible yet this trainer has not been implicated in any drug scandals lately he was recently acquitted of a old morphine violation because the lab thru out the counter proof sample...but this raises another question are the big trainers with 100s of horses treated differently than your average claiming trainer because their clients are the well heeled whales and celebrities racing needs so badly...if a pletcher or baffert horse tested positive in the derby or derby trail would it be covered up ? I believe it would not but am I sure of that the answer is no..to fix this thing racing justice needs to be blind to status and short term self interest and be beyond reproach.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
What juice is this guy Rudy using Ray? Other than Banamine of course. You seem to be well informed since "everybody knows" about his horses. So please share with us what juice his horses are on and what juices his horses have tested positive for? I can't wait for this response....
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
fuggedabodit More than 1 year ago
So the overages were accidental huh...please give me a break. An easy defense for being allowed to continue this type of behaviour is just say they were accidents..... roflmao!
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Hey um...... Not sure if you know much about this sport, but flunixin is Banamine. Ever heard of that? Everybody uses it. It's legal. But you can't use it on race day. Look up the intoxication levels in this guys horses that tested positive. They are trace amounts and obviously accidental contamination. Which means they could have treated another horse with it and not washed their hands, shared buckets, etc and contaminated the race day horse. I'm definately not sticking up for this guy and I've never met him, but as someone who has been involved in investigations, I can tell you if they are cheating, they are doing a poor job because these levels won't effect a horse whatsoever. With that being said, rules are rules and there is a NO TOLERANCE of Banamine on race day, so he should be punished. They need to do a better job in that barn watching what they are doing. But to call him a cheater for this type of medication, with these levels, is kinda uneducated. Just sayin...
Rohan Mardio More than 1 year ago
Unless this country start to follow European racing medication laws, this will always happen.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Slanted article by DRF,for bringing up Dutrow's name in the article. They are in CDI's back pocket. Especially with no uproar about the Ill. Derby being excluded off the point system.
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago
Rudy is a joke and its pretty much obv to anyone who follows racing..he plays that catch me if you can game and has been caught twice on last 2 months ..GAME OVER