02/28/2015 4:59PM

Rodriguez gets 25 days for Banamine positives

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rudy Rodriguez with Vyjack, his top 3-year-old from 2013.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. -- Trainer Rudy Rodriguez will serve a 25-day suspension and pay a $2,500 fine as a result of two horses having overages for flunixin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory also known as Banamine and used for therapeutic use.

The suspension, issued by the New York Gaming Commission, begins Monday and runs through March 26, which covers 13 racing days at Aqueduct. Beginning with the entries of Thursday, Gustavo Rodriguez, Rudy’s brother and assistant, will be the trainer of record for horses from that barn that race.

On March 13, 2013, the Gaming Commission suspended Rodriguez for 40 days and fined him $7,500 for two flunixin positives incurred in April and November of 2012. The Commission stayed 20 of those days provided Rodriguez did not get a further equine drug positive in the state of New York from April 4, 2013 through April 4, 2014.

Those 20 days were again stayed provided Rodriguez does not have an additional equine positive for a nine-month period beginning March 27.

The current suspension is based on flunixin overages for the horse Majestic Marquet, who won the first race at Aqueduct on March 10, 2013, and Vee’s Accolade, who finished second in the sixth race at Belmont Park on April 26, 2013. Those horses were disqualified from the order of finish and ordered unplaced and purse money is to be redistributed.

Last October, the Gaming Commission called for a show-cause hearing for Rodriguez regarding those two overages, but the hearing was twice postponed and eventually never held. The stewards held a hearing on Feb. 5 on the two most recent positives, but it was the Gaming Commission -- and not the stewards -- who meted out the penalty.

Karen Murphy, the attorney who represented Rodriguez, said the 25-day penalty was ‘’excessive” given the fact the Commission suspended another trainer, David Cannizzo, for 45 days (reduced from 75 for waiving his right of appeal) for three of his horses testing positive for the illegal narcotic Darvon.

Murphy said she accepted the penalty for Rodriguez because she claims she was told “if Rudy is going to fight it, he was going to be hammered. That’s not the world I want to live in, but this is the world we are living in.”

Rodriguez, a former jockey, began his training career in February 2010 and had instant success,  finishing in the top five among all trainers in wins on the New York Racing Association circuit in each of the last five years.

In 2014, Rodriguez won 132 races, including four Grade 1 stakes with the quartet of Belle Gallantey (two), Condo Commando, and Dads Caps. Condo Commando is among the leading candidates for this year’s Kentucky Oaks.

In 2013, Rodriguez, a former exercise rider for the now-banned trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., ran Vyjack in the Kentucky Derby and had to appear before the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission before being granted a license.

Michael Zeisler More than 1 year ago
And it never ever  stops
Peter Maylath More than 1 year ago
Trying to figure out if rudy is ignorant or defiant?
Matthew Linda Jr. More than 1 year ago
Simple, geld him and no days or KICK him out of Thoroughbred racing forever !!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a surprise!! When Mr. Rodriguez was a jockey he infrequently had a mount on a live horse. Only Rick Dutrow would put him on decent horses. Of course Mr. Dutrow is currently serving a 10 year suspension for countless drug violations. I will go out on a limb and say that is where Rudy learned to train horses from. It is time to, once and for all to rid the sport of guys like him and similar trainers who do as they please with little chance of repercussions.
Joey W More than 1 year ago
It was an anti-inflammatory for God sakes. Take it easy people. Guess any of you older folks such as myself have never taken Ibuprofen? It is considered Therapeutic medication. Yes as you well know it may ease the pain, but it nothing like an opiate. I consider this very minor. There are worse things going on than this. The article doesn't even let us know how many nanograms were in the horse. I believe it only has to be higher than 2 nano's to be considered a positive. That would mean for ever billion molecules of blood their has to be only 3 nano's of the drug in the billion to be considered a positive test. Scholars in Biology tell us you need at least 10 parts per billion to even think it is a factor.
Peter Maylath More than 1 year ago
It is NOT very minor!
robert More than 1 year ago
Just a slap on the wrist for this cheat
mikey More than 1 year ago
As a jock he needed a road map to find the finish line.
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Wasnt there five overages ? Majestic marquet, vee's accolade, belle of the west, heiden and alston gunter
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
it seems like horses are nothing more than lab rats to these piece of **** crooks! they WILL answer for it come their judgment day.
Dan More than 1 year ago
Someone commented that Rodriquez trains for some quality owners in NY. He mentioned Dubb as an owner that would not put up with Rodriquez cheating. I find this rather amusing. I am aware that Dope, excuse me, Dubb took his horses from Dutrow the minute that Dutrow was suspended for 10 years. With a chance to make a statement, Dope, I mean Dubb went to Dutrow assistant. Does anyone think a chance to make a statement on integrity was left to die a lonely death due to Dope, I mean Dubb and his lack of integrity?
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
after the 3rd positive. a reporter asked him how he would fix the problem. his answer was that the flunixin would be removed from the stable area. then he gets two more positives in the next two weeks.