Baeza: I Never Indicated Evidence Was Planted In Dutrow Case - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Baeza: I Never Indicated Evidence Was Planted In Dutrow Case

Rick Dutrow, shown during a 2014 interview with NBC News

A little more than a week after a letter alleging evidence was planted in the case of long-suspended trainer Rick Dutrow came to light, New York officials say those allegations are false. A letter from now-retired state steward Stephen Lewandowski to the New York State Gaming Commission alleged that Braulio Baeza, who replaced Lewandowski, told him “on numerous occasions” that syringes found in Dutrow's tack room at Aqueduct in 2010 were planted there.

The presence of those syringes, together with a positive for butorphanol, led to a ten-year ban for Dutrow, who unsuccessfully appealed the ruling.

In a statement released via the Commission on Wednesday, Baeza disputed Lewandowski's account.

“I never indicated that any evidence was planted in this case,” the statement read. “To say otherwise intentionally misrepresents my conversations.”

The Commission released its own statement on the Dutrow matter.

“The allegations that the loaded syringes were planted have been fully litigated and were discussed in depth in the Commission Decision and Order denying Mr. Dutrow's Motion to re-open his case. The Decision, which has been available on the Commission's website since it was issued, addresses this matter directly. 

The Decision states that the NYRA Racing Investigator was interviewed [by the Queens County District Attorney] and indicated he did not see the State Investigator plant syringes.

Our former Steward did not participate in the Dutrow barn search and has no personal knowledge about what transpired during the search.”

The letter, published first by John Pricci at the blog Horse Race Insider, was also sent to the Queens County District Attorney's Office, which has allegedly reopened the case to investigate whether evidence was planted. The syringes, which contained a clear liquid, were found in a box in a drawer of the desk in Dutrow's office during a search by state and NYRA investigators.

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