Trainer Rudy Rodriguez Suspended 20 Days

by | 03.14.2013 | 8:52am
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez celebrates after Vyjack wins the Gotham S.

Rudy Rodriguez, trainer of undefeated Kentucky Derby contender Vyjack, will begin serving a 20-day suspension March 16 for two medication positives. The New York State Gaming Commission also fined Rodriguez $7,500.

The suspension and fine are a result of two of his horses, Heiden and Alston Gunther, testing positive for Flunixin in 2012. The drug, also known as Banamine, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.

According to a report in the Blood-Horse, Rodriguez originally received a 40-day suspension, but half of those days were stayed by the Gaming Commission, provided Rodriguez get no further drug positives in New York for the next year.

Rodriguez's suspension runs through April 4.Entries for the April 6 Wood Memorial are taken April 3; Rodriguez will be allowed to enter Vyjack in that race under his name, according to NYRA stakes coordinator, Andrew Byrnes.

Read more at the Blood-Horse




  • Vyjack should be sent to another barn, quickly…

    • oldbay

      then he wouldn’t run so….. “quickly”

      • Anthony Salerno

        OK, you think this horse was juiced. tell what do you think about I’ll have another. he was finished once he got to New York for the Belmont and was put in a special quarantine???

  • Looking over Thoroughbred Rulings, I see other rulings against, what I’m sure is the same Trainer. (The site also lists a Rodriquez-Gutierrez in MD in same “result” in getting fines). Rudy R. was fined in March 2011 for use of the same substance (flunixin). Unfortunate, and learning that he was employed by R. Dutrow, I’m more suspcious of this guy.

  • mike dobb

    This article in incomplete without a comment from NYRA board of director member Michael Dubb, the leading owners in number of wins in trainer RudyRod’s barn for the last few years.
    To make it worse, he loves to babble on how Rudy is so much different then his mentor Dicky D.
    Ray, please call that owner/nyra board member for a comment.

  • Richard C

    This industry continually demonstrates to the general public why it should be treated about as seriously as pro rasslin’. Too bad the ones really affected by this pharmacy masquerading as sport cannot talk.

  • dispute92

    Ditto to all who responded below. There are a few more that need to be caught, as well. Speed figures or a horses vast improvement record should be big indicators that something is smelling rather fishy. Or maybe they are “super” trainers.

  • citation1947

    “Rudy Rodriguez, a former long-time employee of Richard Dutrow Jr”
    It just goes to show you that whatever these guys are all doing, it can help move them straight to the top.

  • Roisin Smith

    I hope testing for Myo-Inositol Tripyrophosphate has started. A method for it’s detection has been developed in Hong Kong.

  • Dantana

    If the northeastern states have uniform medication rules, then sanctions should apply to all  in that jurisdiction.  Mr. Rodriquez should not have another positive in any of those states, not just New York.

  • last summer, illinois had 26 positives with banamine. it was amazing how many of these positives won their races. catalano had 10, mason had 3, becker had 2. these are all high winning percentage trainers. the fines have got to raised on banamine to scare these trainers.

  • sickof it

    just keep making fools of the public by staying half the suspension time, reducing fines, going easy on these guys. Pretty soon we will be out of fans to fool. Integrity and honesty are the only things that are really punished in our industry!

  • Stacey White

    Banamine Is a safe and effective way to treat minor inflammation. He violated the rules because the horse tested positive for it over the legal threshold permitted at NYRA. this does not make him a drug pushing bad guy like those using frog juice. It is part of most trainers pre race protocol that begins 2 days out from a race. It also does not mean the horse had an ailment he was trying to mask. It was merely a preventative that is done by most before a race.

    • No Drugs

      Obviously you have never seen a horse who was a little sore get a shot of banamine. Pushing it closer to race time is my guess what he was doing. It does not make him in the same category as a frog juicer, but trainer pushing thresholds gives them an unfair advantage and banamine is pretty damn potent, especially the closer it is injected before a race.

    • Matt

      Rules set thresholds. No argument Flunixin has uses as a theraputic medication. When your treatment exceeds the allowed threshold, it results in a positive test, Period. Why argue degrees of culpability?

  • Harry

    Rudy learned training through Rick Dutrow!!! Enough said!!!!

  • Quilla

    Are trainers trying to kill this sport? The Kentucky Derby is probably the one and only race potential fans watch and here, two years in row, there’s an accusation of drugging. Not the best advertisement for horse racing…

  • racemaven

    Imagine if they could test for IPPT and the other concoctions Rudy is using in NY. These flunixin positives from 2012 are merely the tame the tip of the iceberg. Ten point moves on the Sheets tell the true tale when a horse moves into Supertrainer Rudy Rod’s barn.

  • harry doodle

    jane cibelli got caught blocking a leg at tampa she,s still racing

  • Anthony Salerno

    listen, without guys like Rudy we would have no game. This game is struggling for it’s life. Okay, he didn’t learn from the best. however I made mad money with this guy and I am sure they weren’t all juiced. I still back him 100%. He was always under suspicion because of his connections. I wish him all the success in the racing world. Rider, trainer, owner. Still a class act COME BACK STRONG RUDY! VYJACK!!!

  • I think 4 positives since March of 2011 is cheating and totally unacceptable. There are trainers that NEVER get a positive.

    • whobet


  • Don Reed

    FINALLY, GOOD NEWS! I don’t know how long Equibase has been doing this –

    They weren’t, not too long ago, when I checked on another horse that had won, placed or showed & was later DQ’ed for a medication violation –

    And who it was since that time who has successfully prompted them to get on the ball.
    But it sure is satisfying to see someone in racing doing the right thing.

    If you dial up Aqueduct historical results for April 7, 2012, you’ll see that it is now a matter of record that Heiden, “trained” by Rudy Rodriguez, won the race & then was DQ’ed (see the races Footnotes bottom, last line, in capital letters).

    The only thing that could be improved – so that we’re totally candid about these things – is that the actual date that the race chart was modified is missing.

    In other words, the exact date that the “DQ’ed” occurred should be stated:


    With the exact date that the record was changed, at the very bottom of the chart.

    Equibase, thank you for adjusting the historical race result records so that they are accurate & truthful.

  • Don Reed

    Next: Twenty days of Rudy Dutrow’s girlfriend/wife training his horses.

  • Barry Irwin

    I don’t consider positives like these to be an indication of significant cheating. I don’t like them, but they are not the problem with racing today. These types of positives, just like those of Rick Dutrow, are more a matter of a lack of organization and focus. What guys like Dutrow and Rodriquez do to get horses to win races has little to do with overages of known drugs.

    • Barry,

      Given your comments and as someone who understands the business of racing, I am curious as your opinion on two things related to these positives and the punishment meted out.

      Do you believe the punishment, in this case 40 days reduced to 20 because of no appeal, is appropriate for the violation?

      Also, do you believe allowing the trainer to transfer his horses to his brother, in essence creating the appearance of “business as usual”, serves the public interest?”

      • Barry Irwin

        Hi Ellis. I think the penalty is fine in terms of length. The aspect where the horses are transferred to an assistant is a long-standing joke. They should make the trainer disperse them to other horsemen.

  • Sobhy Sonbol

    This story is massively blown out of proportion. This should have been nothing more than a fine. The punishment defiantly doesn’t fit the alleged crime.

    As far as the violation this big fuss is made over Benamine !!!! There isn’t a trainer in America or Europe that does not use it and I would challenge anyone to say other wise. It is an Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory the equivalent of Advil for humans. Yes you are not allowed to race while on it and it takes about 24hr for the body to metabolize it. So just like humans it might take more time from one horse to another to metabolize. So clearly it is an unintentional error. Really 21 days for that? And why serve them now? In the heat on the road to the derby. While all the other trainers get to serve there days in december when everything is slow. The people in this industry that their livelihood depends on its sustainability seem to be on a mission to destroy it.

    Now as far as Rudy and everyone here judging him only by his connection to Dutrow you are very very wrong. Go pass by his barn one morning and you will understand why he is so successful. He is a very hard working guy and pays attention to detail. Rudy has only been training for three years but he really has more than 30 years of experience that he got from the Dutrows and Frankel. I never seen anyone mention him working for Frankel on here. HE has been around all kind of horses from the greats like Empire Maker to the very cheap ones that no one remembers. Furthermore Rudy is an excellent rider and he gets on his own horses this is something that gives a trainer a huge edge knowing exactly what he is dealing with first hand. Once you can pinpoint a problem in a horse you can fix it and this is how you move horses up. There is not secret juice that makes these horses move up its just good horsemanship. A lot of times its managing the feet of the horse. Remember Lava Man?

    • Barry Irwin

      Sobhy, the reason everybody is on RR’s case is that he is moving his horses up to an extent only accomplished by people that take an edge. There are plenty of horsemen that have credentials that would make RR look like a lightweight, but they are not moving up stock and winning races like him. It is one thing to improve a horse, it is quite another thing to do what this guy does on a regular basis. This is what is raising eyebrows. It is not jealousy that makes people think like this, it is the uncommon results. Frankel could not do what this guy is doing. Ask the people that make speed figures for a living and listen to what they say about RR.

  • This medication masks joint pain, soreness, etc. They run these horses on these drugs so they can make money off them and the horses won’t run bad because they don’t feel the pain. Dubb is a sham for defending it. Why would a horse be running with medication in him/her that is a muscle pain reliever and joint pain reliever? Rodriquez is the same as Dutrow. Same owners, same winning angles and same percentages. No wonder racing is going down. Insane takeout, tons of drugs, and look the other way people running the sport.
    By the way, with all these performance drugs and “super” trainers, a daily racing form is pointless. Sports been ruined.

  • Rumor has it NY is holding over 20 positives because “it wouldn’t be good for the game” if such a truth were revealed … does anyone really think this little wrist tap will make any difference? Sad for the horses, deceptive to bettors.

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