NEW YORK -- Big Brown trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. has taken responsibility for a positive drug test on another horse he trains, but is still appealing his 15-day suspension.
Salute the Count was found to have more than the allowable limit of Clenbuterol -- a drug that enables horses to breathe easier -- after the 8-year-old gelding finished second in a race at Churchill Downs on May 2, the day before Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby.
"It's just a mistake in the barn that happened," Dutrow said.
Dutrow said Friday at Aqueduct he was appealing because "I need to be with my horses now." The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has yet to set an appeal date, leaving Dutrow free to keep training.
"It's just a mistake that happened," Dutrow said. "But it's not as big a deal as everyone is making it out to be."
The trainer says Big Brown will gallop Saturday at Aqueduct, the colt's first gallop since finishing last in the Belmont Stakes in his bid to become racing's first Triple Crown champion in 30 years.