At age 53, trainer or perhaps ex-trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr. may be beginning a new career---that is, if the federal courts agree with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. In 2011, the Board suspended Dutrow and banned him from any racetrack in New York. Dutrow has been appealing that decision since then. His only recourse is to hope that the federal courts will side with him and allow his appeal to be heard. Most agree that such an outcome is unlikely.
Dutrow has been in the horse training business his entire life. He began by working with his father, Richard Dutrow, Sr. He went immediately on his own. Perhaps that insulated exposure to the "world of racing" was his major flaw. Had he been mentored by other leading trainers, as most new trainers are, would things have been different? One wonders. Or is Dutrow suffering from a character flaw for which such experience would not change?
We can only hope, his love for the sport overrides his selfish drive for legal recourse. Racing has suffered too many "black-eyes" in recent months. Without passing judgment, Dutrow could for the sake of the sport accept New York's ruling. Lance Armstrong's confession to Oprah cleared some of the air and perhaps will help cycling in the long run. Perhaps Dutrow should follow suit. Most people with any association to racing know of the problem racing has with drugging. Because it is pervasive, no one dares to tell. That has to change.
Mr. Dutrow could help all of us and his beloved sport by telling all. Could he bring himself to expose the backside and under-belly of racing? Could he show the conspiracy among trainer, owner and vet plays out on a day-to-day basis? If he were voluntarily joined by his conspirators in an all-out-tell-all, what a confession we would have. If the industry embraces his efforts and makes the necessary changes, the result just may be a cleaner sport that attracts new fans. With the right editor, the book by Dutrow, Jr., et.al. could be a best seller. Fans would likely sign-up for presale editions, if the story could help save the sport.
Mr. Dutrow, you may have a new career---a career that brings you contrition, adulation and respect for doing the right thing. It is up to you.