5/24/2012 5:37:31 PM
Doug O'Neill will still be allowed to race I'll Have Another on June 9, when
the horse will have a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34
There was no evidence of any intentional act by O'Neill contributing to the
elevated level of carbon dioxide in a sample taken from Argenta, a filly that
finished eighth in a race at Del Mar almost two years ago, the California
Horse Racing Board said Thursday.
Still, the racing organization banned O'Neill for 45 days with an additional
135 days of suspension stayed for 18 months provided the trainer commits no
other offense considered a Class 1, 2 or 3 violation.
O'Neill's suspension will begin no sooner than July 1. A hearing officer also
recommended a $15,000 fine in the case.
Evidence demonstrated that Argenta had not been "milkshaked" and that there
were no suspicious betting patterns surrounding the race in question on Aug.
I'll Have Another is looking to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978
to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. The horse ran
down Bodemeister in the first two legs of horse racing's Triple Crown.