Updated on 04/18/2013 9:54AM

Rodriguez licensed in Kentucky; Vyjack to be under surveillance

Michael Amoruso
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez testified that he would welcome video surveillance of Vyjack.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The licensing review committee of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted Tuesday to approve a license application for Rudy Rodriguez, trainer of the Kentucky Derby hopeful Vyjack, but under a requirement that Vyjack be monitored by video surveillance while at Churchill Downs.

The committee approved the application after a two-hour hearing that included an inconclusive round of questioning on a suspension Rodriguez was handed by New Jersey regulators in 2007 for “conduct detrimental to racing” and more general questions aimed at recent overages for painkillers in New York. In addition, the committee attempted to ascertain whether Rodriguez continues to remain in contact with Richard Dutrow Jr., the banned trainer who had previously been Rodriguez’s employer before Rodriguez struck out on his own as a trainer in 2010.

The approval of the license will free up Rodriguez to ship and train Vyjack at Churchill Downs in the weeks leading up to the Derby. Vyjack, who was undefeated until finishing third to Derby favorite Verrazano in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in New York on April 6, is currently at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland being treated for a mild lung infection, Rodriguez said.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders with odds and video]

During the Tuesday hearing, Rodriguez testified that he would welcome video surveillance of Vyjack. The committee said that the horse would be required to be monitored around-the-clock.

Much of the Tuesday hearing focused on why Rodriguez was given a seven-day suspension and $2,500 fine in 2007 by New Jersey regulators in connection with the horse Wild Desert, who was trained under a false name by Dutrow at Aqueduct during parts of 2005. The horse had a recorded workout at Monmouth that year, but that horse was not Wild Desert, but another horse with a false name.

Rodriguez, who was working as an exercise rider for Dutrow at the time, said that he never worked the horse in New Jersey, and he said it was not clear whether he was interviewed by investigators or stewards in New Jersey in relation to the incident. Rodriguez was licensed as a jockey at the time in New Jersey, and he said he accepted the penalty to “move on with my life, to work for my family.”

In a partial explanation, Rodriguez’s counsel, Karen Murphy, a New York attorney, said that Rodriguez, a Mexican immigrant who is a U.S. citizen, has been “non-confrontational his whole life” due to his status as an immigrant.

Murphy also attempted to establish during the hearing that Rodriguez has had limited contact with Dutrow following his decision to take out his trainer’s license in early 2010. Rodriguez said that his contact with Dutrow since then has been comments made “in passing” in the mornings at New York tracks.

Michael Dubb, a trustee of the New York Racing Association who has 25 horses with Rodriguez, and Dale Romans, a Kentucky-based trainer, both testified in strong terms in support of Rodriguez, separately citing his work ethic, honesty, and horsemanship.

tom More than 1 year ago
Rudy is full of it, the stall office doesn't even know where most of his horses are at nyra.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Sounds like someones not doing their job eh.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
FYI just saw it on another site.now we know why the commission is so gun ho on keeping the integrity of the game at all costs.they want to clean up the game to insure confidence in the gamblers.well the point is.rudy rodriguez will have to incur all costs for the monitoring devices.i am surprised since it is not on their dime.the commision did not recommend that francis ford coppola come in and direct the entire thing.it would be a great feature for their shill media outlets
mikey More than 1 year ago
Charles Manson can get a trainers licenese in New York.There is more crook's in NYRA racing than in SING SING.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
I've been pretty vocal about this issue, but an article I read in USA Today said that Rudy requested the 24 hour surveillance for his horse to protect his horse and himself. This maybe the reason they aren't putting others on 24 hour surveillance.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
jason the man wants justice and his name cleared.in feb. he asked nyra for surveilance in his barn to stop B.S accusations and safety for horses.they confirmed request.their reason for not doing it.he did not provide them with a plan.the morons own the property,the license and it is rudys responsibility to accomodate them.yes he asked for it.if they were so agreeable.if he asked for a favorable post position,would they of given that also.after all they would do for 1 horse what they do not do for the other 19.so that would be ok with all other connections.also that statement is also in this article
Beth Villante More than 1 year ago
we should have the watch dogs in Kentucky investigate the most corrupt place in racing. the place with the worst management and ridiculous misuse of casino funds. There is not a true racing official or marketing person on the grounds...and that place is Parx...maybe after the Kentucky racing FBI gets done with them, we could have a viable circuit...maybe Jerardi will do an investigative piece...Oh wait , they are in his pocket too, with their "lets go racing "show
Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
totally irrelevant dumb statement by a person not involved in the business
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Yea and let this be a lesson to all that want to be a horse trainer. Whatever you do, dont be good at it.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
Agreed. Although there are some that have bended the rules, people always hate a winner.
Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
that is such a moronic comment it is hardly worth my t9me to respond, however since u are so ignorant- rudy has had his barns ubder 24/7 lockdowns for entire meets because people know he is using ittp- which is not detectable in the piss barn or anywjere else- think lance armstrong. wake up and smell the facts
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
and you try to come across as the smart one with your posts.mental midgets like you are a joke
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Pom They KNOW hes using something they cant detect. This moron would use the the word SUSPECT. Hes under 24/7 surveillance and is still getting away with it. Wow that guys good. SUBJECTIVE
Elaine Parkinson More than 1 year ago
It makes me want to puke. Yahoo news tried to address this issue and screwed the pooch. Glad we have DRF to cover things correctly. The ignorance and opening analogy was absolutely absurd. DRF should offer to cover things for Yahoo Sports because they can't do it on their own: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/trainer-rudy-rodriguez-has-path-cleared-to-kentucky-derby--but-controversy-shows-underbelly-of-racing-010025257.html I'm sorry if I'm breaking some type of code of conduct for posting this link and feel free to not post it, but it will only help if we know how bad things can be. I can assure DRF that I would never go back to view Yahoo Sports take on horse racing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All you losers do not recognize a great trainer when you see one he must have beaten you one to many times . What racing needs is more trainers like Rudy . Trainers who know how to win races Trainers who put out horses ready to win. Jbeau
Charles Levy More than 1 year ago
Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
Hey Anony-mouth: you obvilously were not on the saratoga backstretch 3 years ago when his entire barn was under 24/7 surveillence.
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
Whatever his outcome in the KD Vyjack needs to go to the test barn after the race.
Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
he wil def be tested regardless of where he finishes. unfortunately ittp is undetectable even after 10 yrs of abuse starting at harness tracks
Matt More than 1 year ago
it doesn't matter...they can let someone with a video camera sleep with vyjack......he's still going to WIN the DERBY! GO GOMEZ & RODRIGUEZ! all you haters can taste defeat!
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
And then there is reality. You see, numbers are the reality and Vyjak's do not compete with a few of the other players in this race. I like your loyalty but not your logic.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
yet when you make a statement it is logic,not hatred.i gotta love your stupidity
Matt More than 1 year ago
We'll see.....you pundits can disagree all you want but on the first Saturday in May i will be showering myself in cash.....go ahead and key in on Verrazano...he will flop in the derby.......
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
ur a funny guy Matt! go on with ur bad self! lmao!
Matt More than 1 year ago
horses turn around and beat each other....i've seen it too many times...i don't care about the numbers....if the horse doesn't feel like runnin that day the numbers are out the window...Vyjack for life!