INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) – Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill has been suspended 45 days as a result of one of his horses exceeding the allowable limit for total carbon dioxide. But the punishment won’t begin before July 1, ensuring he will be able to saddle I’ll Have Another in next month’s Belmont Stakes.
The suspension comes in the midst of I’ll Have Another’s bid to become horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 34 years. The colt trained by O’Neill won the Derby and then the Preakness last Saturday, and is preparing to run in the Belmont on June 9.
The California Horse Racing Board met in a closed session Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., to consider the recommended decision of a hearing officer in O’Neill’s case.
O’Neill was cited by the racing board after his horse Argenta tested for a high level of TCO2 in its blood after finishing eighth in a race at Del Mar on Aug. 25, 2010. TCO2 is associated with “milkshaking,” the illegal practice of giving a horse a blend of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes.