John Pricci, executive editor of HorseraceInsider.com, has written an open letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking that the state's Gaming Commission review and reconsider the 10-year suspension handed down to trainer Rick Dutrow by the regulatory agency's predecessor, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, in 2011.
Pricci writes that the Gaming Commission “went back on its promise” to Dutrow to put the issue on the agenda of last Monday's regularly scheduled meeting. “By doing so,” he writes, “the Gaming Commission abdicated its responsibility in this matter.”
The commission has been presented legal arguments as to why the case should be reviewed, Pricci writes, including alleglations that a state investigator perjured himself by giving false testimony during the hearing that ultimately led to the 10-year ban of the Kentucky Derby- and Breeders' Cup Classic-winning trainer. The suspension was a result of an accumulation of violations over the years. He appealed the suspension until early 2013 and has served nearly 5 1/2 years. Dutrow recently wrote an open letter to the Thoroughbred industry, admitting mistakes and saying that if given a second chance he would not let the industry down.
Pricci also cites many high-profile individuals in racing – including leading trainers, owners and members of the media – who signed a petition started by Eclipse Award-winning trainer Dale Romans in support of Dutrow's reinstatement, along with a letter of support from the Jockeys' Guild management.
“Clearly, the racing community wants him back,” Pricci writes.
Finally, Pricci points out that the governor himself authored a program in New York to give convicted criminals a second chance through pardons and clemencies, quoting from the following Cuomo statement: “We are taking a critical step toward a more just, fair, and compassionate New York. With this initiative, we are seeking to identify those deserving of a second chance to help ensure that clemency is a more accessible and tangible reality.”
Pricci writes: “An important industry, providing the state with more than $2.5 billion in revenue in 2017, humbly petitions that you take action by instructing New York's Gaming Commission to accept its moral responsibility to investigate this case in light of new evidence that could lead to a just resolution and a second chance.”
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