After sitting out more than 10 years because his license was suspended by New York racing regulators, trainer Rick Dutrow returned to the winner's circle Saturday with the first he started since his banishment.
Dutrow won the sixth race at Belmont with Prince of Pharoahs (American Pharoah). The 6-year-old gelding was making his first start since being claimed by Dutrow out of an April 7 race at Aqueduct. It was Dutrow's first win since Jan. 16, 2013 when he won a $20,000 claimer at Aqueduct with Colossal Gift (Songandaprayer).
“It feels good,” Dutrow said. “It feels really good. I'm just glad now that I can get up every day and keep trying and can move things along. I try not to think about what happened in the past.”
Dutrow said he was confident that Prince of Pharoahs, who paid $8.20, would turn in a good race.
“Going into this race, I thought he fit with these horses and he likes this track a lot,” Dutrow said. “He was training good. I liked everything about him since we've had him. Those things all added up to him running big today.”
The horse is owned by a partnership headed by Sandy Goldfarb, who was among Dutrow's top clients before his 10-year absence.
“There are four guys who own this horse,” Dutrow said. “I love three of them and I've never met the fourth guy. Sandy has brought so many people into horse racing and has been so good for the sport. No we get to hook up again and have a lot of fun. We're going out to dinner tonight. It's all good again.”
Dutrow said he's up to 15 horses and expects that his numbers will grow.
“I'm looking to claim but it's not easy to claim horses anywhere anymore,” he said. “I hope to get more horses but the problem is you need more help as you expand and for me to get 20 more horses in right away would be overwhelming. It's easier to get one or two more at a time.”