Rick Dutrow, trainer of Big Brown, has once again been suspended for doping horses. What’s particularly galling is Dutrow’s recidivism on this front: this marks the 19th time since 2000 that Dutrow has been cited for a drug violation.
In a revealing Boston Globe profile from early this month, T.D. Thornton reported that Dutrow’s infractions ranged …
from comparably benign violations for overages of legal medications Phenylbutazone and Lasix, to more alarming charges of using Mepivacaine, an anesthetic that can be used to make sore horses feel no pain. In addition to $20,000 in drug fines, Dutrow racked up a $5,000 penalty for providing misleading information to authorities about a workout, and was slapped with a $25,000 fine last year for having contact with his stable while he was supposed to be serving a suspension.
He’s not contrite, he’s not concerned with the welfare of his thoroughbreds, and he’s shown no capacity for change. Horse racing is a sport badly in need of sweeping reform, and keeping around a selfish manipulator like Dutrow is thoroughly inimical to that goal. Given Dutrow’s history, why is he even allowed near a horse?