Dutrow wins three weeks too late

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Rick Dutrow is back, or so the ever-confident thoroughbred trainer claims.

That was Dutrow’s assertion after his 40-1 shot, Frost Giant, captured the $400,000 Suburban Handicap Saturday at Belmont Park.

“I’ll be all right now,” an exuberant Dutrow said. “This gets me back in the game.”

The win comes exactly three weeks after Dutrow-trained Big Brown failed miserably in its bid to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years, finishing last at the Belmont Stakes.

And last week the controversial Aqueduct-based trainer was suspended for 15 days by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority because one of his horses, Salute the Count, tested positive for excessive amounts of the drug clenbuterol one day before the Kentucky Derby.

Dutrow’s latest suspension, one he is appealing, drew the ire of Michael Iavarone of IEAH Stables, which co-owns Big Brown.

But on Saturday, all was well for Dutrow and IEAH Stables, which also owns Frost Giant, a 5-year-old who paid $82 to win and covered the mile-and-a-quarter race in 2:01.58.

“I get on him in the morning and he really has been different lately,” said jockey Rudy Rodriguez, who won his first Grade I race. “We’ve had him a few years, but he seems to have a new attitude.”

Frost Giant beat Argentine Solar Flare by a half length, while Rising Moon, also trained by Dutrow and owned by IEAH, finished third. A.P. Arrow, the heavy favorite, jumped at the break and never recovered, finishing sixth.

“I bet on [Rising Moon], but what am I going to do?” Dutrow said. “I’ve got to be happy.”

The 122nd running of the Suburban Handicap was one of two Grade I races Saturday. In the other, Music Note recovered from a bad stumble at the gate to win the $250,000 Mother Goose, covering the nine-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies in 1:49.75.

“I had a beautiful trip, even though she stumbled at the gate,” said winning jockey Javier Castellano. “I tried to position myself. I did not want to be on the lead.”

Favorite Proud Spell also stumbled at the gate, checked hard at the rail at the top of the stretch and finished second. But following a steward’s inquiry Proud Spell, ridden by Gabriel Saez, who received much criticism for his ride of filly Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby, was disqualified for causing interference down the stretch. She was moved to third in the four-horse field.

“From the beginning it looked like it wasn’t going to be our day,” Proud Spell trainer Larry Jones said. “When we needed somewhere to go, we had nowhere to go. And when it was time to go, we weren’t going.”

Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 6:37 pm, October 10, 2011
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