NYRA Return Imminent For Renowned, Controversial Trainer Richard Dutrow

Written By Dave Champagne on March 9, 2023
new york horse racing richard dutrow nyra license

Richard Dutrow Jr. — four-time leading trainer in wins on the New York Racing Association circuit in 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2012 — had his application for a training license approved after serving a 10-year penalty.

Dutrow, whose trainer’s license was revoked in January 2013 for a period of no less than 10 years, has been issued a license to participate in New York horse racing, according to the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).

At the beginning of Monday’s meeting, Rob Williams, the executive director of the NYSGC, said that Dutrow applied for a license last month and his application was approved.

“Mr. Dutrow recently applied for a Thoroughbred trainers license, which was reviewed by the Bureau of Licensing in consultation with the Division of Racing,” Williams said.

“The review found that Mr. Dutrow satisfied the penalty imposed by the Racing and Wagering Board, and his record is bereft of transgressions during his period of revocation. Accordingly, the Bureau has determined to issue Mr. Dutrow a valid license to participate in New York horse racing.

NY horse racing reinstatement process progressing

As NYSGC spokesperson Brad Maione told BloodHorse, Dutrow still “has a couple of more procedural steps to go through, but things are progressing in that regard.”

“The license hasn’t been approved yet, but once he gets all his paperwork in, he should be approved.”

Maione said it “has yet to be determined” if there will be conditions placed on his license.

Dutrow, now 63, who also had to pay a fine of $50,000, was naturally pleased by the decision. He was unable to say when he could possibly be back training, as he must still apply for and be granted stalls by the New York Racing Association.

“I’m very pleased that the Gaming Commission has granted our request for a trainer’s license,” Dutrow told Daily Racing Forum. “I want to thank all the owners, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians, and other people that have supported our effort. I look forward to getting back and continuing to try to win races.”

Some history of Richard Dutrow Jr.

In 2011, Dutrow had his license revoked for a decade by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (now known as the New York State Gaming Commission) for a history of transgressions that included the finding of syringes loaded with unauthorized medication in the desk draw of his barn office in the fall of 2011.

Dutrow exhausted all his legal challenges before ultimately having to serve his suspension starting Jan. 17, 2013.

“Following a review by the bureau of licensing in consultation with the division of racing, the review found that Mr. Dutrow satisfied the penalty imposed by the Racing and Wagering Board and his record is bereft of transgressions during his period of revocation,” Williams said during the NYSGC meeting.

“Accordingly, the bureau has determined to issue a license to Mr. Dutrow to participate in New York horse racing.”

Dutrow boasts quite a successful résumé

Dutrow was one of the more successful and controversial trainers in the sport.

His first major success came in 2005 when he won two Breeders’ Cup races with Silver Train and Saint Liam. His 1,000th lifetime victory was with Kip Deville in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile on March 3, 2007.

In 2008, he trained Big Brown to Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes victories, although the colt failed to capture the Triple Crown with a last-place finish in the 140th Belmont Stakes.

At the time, Dutrow had been suspended or fined 72 times by US horse-racing authorities and had admitted regularly administering the steroid Winstrol to his horses, including Big Brown. Back then, that was an entirely legal practice.

Nevertheless, Big Brown’s accomplishments helped to make Dutrow one of the finalists for that year’s Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer.

Despite past, Dutrow receives some stellar praise

In his defense, several people have supported his superior abilities as a horse trainer.

“He is by far the most conscientious, horse centric trainer I have ever hired,” Lansdon B. Robbins, for whom Dutrow served as a trainer, told Equine Info Exchange. “He always put the horse first and was way ahead in diagnosing issues before big problems arose.”

“No one treated his horses better than Rick,” said Patti Cerda, the former manager of the identification department for New York Racing Association, also via Equine Info Exchange. “You could eat off the floors of his barn.”

Dutrow has won 1,811 races during his career and — in addition to Big Brown, Saint Liam and Kip Deville — he has conditioned Grade One winners Benny the Bull, Court Vision, Silver Train, Boys At Tosconova and Carson Hollow. Dutrow began training in 1979 and has 1,811 winners from 7,204 starts (25%) with earnings of $87.5 million.

When asked if the New York Racing Association would allow Dutrow to stable at its racetracks, NYRA vice president for communications Pat McKenna said:

“NYRA will review an application for stall space should Mr. Dutrow submit one in the future.”

Photo by Ed Reinke / AP Photo
Dave Champagne Avatar
Written by
Dave Champagne

Dave Champagne is a freelance writer with a wealth of varied experience with local newspapers, websites, and podcasts, gained in tandem with an ongoing I/T career spanning the better part of five decades. Based in upstate New York, Dave entertains himself with sports and horse race betting as well as the occasional attempt at tournament golf.

View all posts by Dave Champagne
Privacy Policy