Lifestyle & Belief

I'll Have Another trainer Doug O'Neill served with suspended sentence


Mario Gutierrez celebrates atop I'll Have Another after winning the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ken.


Rob Carr

I'll Have Another is as close as one can get to winning the Triple Crown.

After making unbelievable comebacks in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, I'll Have Another will look to round the bend in first place on June 8, in the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown.

However, before the horse hits the gate, trainer Doug O'Neill will face tough questions about his past.  

Reuters reported that O'Neill was given a delayed suspension on Thursday after one of his horses returned an irregular doping test from a race almost two years ago. 

This is not the first time O'Neill has faced charges of doping horses. According to the Baltimore Sun, O'Neill has been accused of "milkshaking" horses four times over his career.

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Milkshaking, according to, is the process of inserting a tube into a horse's nostril, directing it to the stomach and feeding the animal a baking-soda solution in the hope of helping it run faster.

The suspension brought down by The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB). They gave O'Neill a 45 day suspension after another of his horses, Argenta, tested positive for excessive levels of carbon dioxide after finishing eighth in a race in August 2010, according to Reuters.

The offense is considered a lesser crime than milkshaking. 

"The Hearing Officer, who conducted a seven-day hearing, agreed with O'Neill that the evidence demonstrated that Argenta had not been milkshaked, so milkshaking was not the cause of the TCO2 overage," the Board said in its ruling.

"I'm gratified that the CHRB found that I did not "milkshake" a horse or engage in any intentional conduct that would result in an elevated TC02 level. I plan on examining and reviewing all of my options following the Belmont Stakes, but right now I plan on staying focused on preparing for and winning the Triple Crown," O'Neill said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, I'll Have Another is sitting atop the leader board with 3-2 odds of taking home the Belmont Stakes and becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. 

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