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Dutrow’s Annual Suspension

Rick Dutrow is preparing for his annual vacation banning, this time for a horse he had running on Kentucky Oaks day in the Aegon Turf Sprint who tested positive for a rather festive amount of clenbuterol:

“I was there all week and am responsible,” Dutrow said. “I use that medication on many of my horses and only once can ever remember having a problem with it.”

[John] Veitch said the level of clenbuterol found in Salute the Count was the highest he had seen in four years as chief steward. He said the testing lab at Iowa State University said Salute the Count had 41 petragrams of the medication in his system, more than twice the level of 20 allowed in Kentucky.

Salute the Count has won 11 times in 41 starts, but his biggest successes came two years ago when Dutrow began training him. He went from winning a $20,000 claimer to three stakes victories.

It will be interesting to see if Dutrow’s (and Pletcher’s, and Asumssen’s, and….well, you get the picture) winning percentage drops dramatically when the proposed steroid bans come in.

I also wonder what, if anything, Salute the Count was on at Belmont for the Jaipur on June 15th, in which he also finished in the money (and why his owners are not commenting). Even though this horse is not owned by IEAH, it doesn’t exactly make their drug-free policy look as though it is moving full steam ahead if their primary trainer is sticking to his old tricks. While I applaud the notion that they want to see what drugs horses are on listed in the program and their offer to pay for tests at their own expense (even if that does bring up so rather large conflict of interest issues as far as who does those tests), it would seem that they first need to live up to their own press release:

If the owners tell their trainers they want nothing in their horses and they’re going to pay for drug tests, it can be stopped. And I will lobby for it like a son of a bitch.

Better try on that dog collar…

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