Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 5/23/12

Doug O'Neil trainer of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winning horse I'll Have Another faces a possible six-month suspension reports The San Bernardino Sun.

The California Horse Racing Board will meet Thursday in a closed session at Betfair Hollywood Park to discuss the final decision from hearing officer Steffan Imhoff regarding charges Argenta, an O'Neill runner who finished eighth in a race Aug. 25, 2010, at Del Mar, was found to have elevated total carbon dioxide levels in its blood as the result of a concoction of performance enhancers commonly referred to as a "milkshake."

O'Neill won't attend the meeting, but his status as a thoroughbred trainer will be in doubt as the board considers Imhoff's punishment recommendations for the Santa Monica native who will turn 44 on the day of the meeting.

O'Neill faces up to a six-month suspension, which one source close to the situation said is what he will get following a 30-day stay that will allow him to train I'll Have Another for the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

O'Neill faces penalties ranging from a 90-day suspension and $5,000 fine to a maximum of 180 days and $15,000. There's also a chance the board could sway away from Imhoff's decision and alter the penalty or not issue one at all.


The suspension and positive drug test has nothing to do with I'll Have Another, who has a chance to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win a Triple Crown.

O'Neil has spent $250,000 in legal fees to fight the charges and maintains he is innocent, according to the report.  

We will keep you posted on the situation as more information becomes available throughout the week.  

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