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Horse trainer's appeal denied by New York court

Photo: Ed Betz/AP

Horse trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Big Brown, will no longer be allowed to appeal his 10-year ban.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York's top court refused Tuesday to hear another appeal by a Kentucky Derby-winning trainer on his 10-year ban from the sport for drug violations.

The Court of Appeals, without comment, denied Rick Dutrow Jr.'s request that the judges consider another appeal of the state Racing and Wagering Board's 2011 decision to ban him.

Tuesday's decision appears to end the state appeals process for Dutrow. His ban from New York's thoroughbred tracks had been stayed pending appeals.

Board Chairman John Sabini said the penalties against Dutrow will take effect when the court order is served on him. "The court's action confirms that cheaters who repeatedly violate the rules have no place in New York racing," he said.

Calls to Dustrow's attorney, Michael Koenig, were not immediately returned.

In October, the same court rejected his constitutional appeal claiming his rights to a fair proceeding were violated by the appearance of bias by Sabini. He is also an officer of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, which advocated revoking Dutrow's license.

Dutrow trained Big Brown to Derby and Preakness wins in 2008.

In October 2011, the three-member racing board cited infractions including syringes containing a painkiller and sedative found in Dutrow's desk and the painkiller butorphanol, an opioid analgesic, found in the urine of his horse Fastus Cactus in 2010 after it won at Aqueduct Racetrack. The board also fined him $50,000.

Dutrow had told a hearing officer that he didn't know how the syringes got into his desk. A blood test of Fastus Cactus didn't show any butorphanol, and Dutrow's expert witness theorized that the urine test might have been contaminated. He faced brief New York suspensions for drug violations in 2003, 2004 and 2008.

His 10-year ban is among the board's harshest penalties, second only to the lifetime ban in 2009 of breeder Ernie Paragallo after malnourished horses were found at his Hudson Valley farm.

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