Dutrow appears before NY judges for appeal of ban
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr appeared before a New York court on Tuesday asking that the court overturn a 10-year ban handed down by racing officials on the grounds that a member of the organization who banned him was biased, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. Dutrow was banned in 2010 after syringes containing an analgesic and a sedative were found on his desk and a horse he trained tested positive for an analgesic in November. He was also fined $50,000. Dutrow is currently training under a court-ordered stay of his sentence.
Attorney Michael Koenig represented Dutrow before the five Appellate Division judges in the case. He asserted that his client was being treated unfairly because the chairman of the New York Racing and Wagering Board, John Sabini, has a position with the Association for Racing Commissioners International. Koenig said he didn’t believe there was enough evidence to support the board’s allegations but the fundamental issue is that Sabini did not recuse himself from the case despite the fact he is an officer with the RCI.
“In addition to the undeniable conflict of interest that permeated both the process and its ultimate outcome, the decision even to seek revocation was retaliatory,” Koenig argued in his brief. “Specifically, it was only after Mr. Dutrow appealed a 90-day suspension arising from two alleged violations that he was met with the revocation proceeding.”
The assistant attorney general argued that Sabini was not required to recuse himself and was not part of the investigation until it was brought before him. She also noted that the decision to ban Dutrow was unanimous.