The Horse Racing world was rocked Thursday afternoon when Doug O’Neill, who trains 2012 Triple Crown contender I’ll Have Another, was handed down a 45 day suspension and a $15,000 fine as the result of a horse in his care testing positive for an “elevated level of carbon dioxide” in 2010.
Following a seven-day hearing, California Horse Racing Board Executive Director Kirk Breed will decide when the suspension will begin, but it will occur no sooner than July 1, 2012, so O’Neil is cleared to run I’ll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
The horse in question was Argenta, who finished off the board in a race at Del Mar on August. 25, 2010, but a pre-race blood sample taken from the horse was found to contain a TCO2 level of 39.4 millimoles per liter, well above the 37.0 legal limit.
It was O’Neill’s third total carbon dioxide violation in California and fourth in his career. In 2010, he was suspended and fined for a similar offense involving one of his horses that ran in t...