Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Will Dutrow End Up Like Bill Robinson? I'd Bet on It

The news was fast and furious today as The New York State Racing and Wagering Board revoked trainer Richard Dutrow's license for 10 years. After sixty four rulings, and public pressure, I guess they have had enough.

This, in my opinion, completely parallels what happened with super-trainer Bill Robinson about ten years ago in  Ontario. The perennial training leader not only had whispers surrounding his horses' performances, he also had a string of violations. In 2004 after another positive, the ORC and Woodbine as well said enough is enough. He was fined $100,000 and thrown out for five years. In addition, Woodbine ruled him off the grounds so he could not train during appeals, and went to court with all guns blazing to defend their right to do it.

WEG head David Willmot:

“Gamblers are paranoid and more often than not are convinced that something funny is going on. If we as an industry do not have their confidence we’ll lose them as customers and we are doing everything we can to be a customer driven company. Perception is so important. "

What happened with Mr. Robinson? It's been about what you or anyone would've expected. His son Brett took over the majority of his stable - training for many of the who's who in racing, because he won just like his dad did. Up until 2007 rolled around that is. He was nabbed with EPO and he joined his father, with a ten year ban.

Not long after, with Bill still training a very small string, his former assistant trainer took many of his old clients, yearning to not lose the winning magic, and the vast riches it affords them.

He too was caught with EPO and banned for ten years.

If reciprocity takes hold, I expect we might see similar in the Dutrow case. He will fight it. His clients will search for another trainer or an assistant that can turn horses around on a dime. It may take awhile, but when commissions and the betting public have said they are through with you, most times they tend to mean it, and do what they can to make it stick.

I think Mr. Dutrow's career as we know it is over, and I doubt we'll ever see it like it was, no matter how hard he fights.

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