Big Brown's trainer Dutrow to testify at House hearing June 19


WASHINGTON -- Big Brown's trainer is scheduled to testify next week at a Congressional hearing examining safety issues in thoroughbred racing.

Rick Dutrow was on the witness list released Wednesday for the June 19 hearing to be held by the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. The hearing is titled "Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse."

Subcommittee chairman Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and ranking Republican Ed Whitfield of Kentucky recently announced plans for the hearing. They expressed concern about the sport after Eight Belles broke down last month at the Kentucky Derby and was euthanized on the track.

A statement by the subcommittee said that recent thoroughbred deaths "point to a persistent and widespread problem, raising significant questions about the sport and its governance."

The witness list includes owners, breeders, veterinarians and other officials, including Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Big Brown, with a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years, stunningly finished last at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Dutrow had been criticized for admitting he used a legal steroid on Big Brown, although the horse had not had a dose since April. Big Brown was also running on a quarter crack in his left front hoof.