Trainer Doug O'Neill was handed a 45-day suspension during the California Horse Racing Board's closed session Thursday. The Hearing Officer also suggested an additional 135 days of suspension stayed for 18 months provided O'Neill commits no further Class 1, 2, or 3 violations, regardless of jurisdiction, and a $15,000 fine.
The suspension won't impact I'll Have Another (Flower Alley)'s shot at history in the GI Belmont S.; the suspension will begin no earlier than July 1.
The horse in question, Argenta (Mineshaft), exceeded the regulatory threshold for total carbon dioxide when eighth at Del Mar on Aug. 25, 2010. While the Hearing Officer agreed with O'Neill that the evidence demonstrated proved that the horse wasn't milkshaked, it was determined that O'Neill still be held responsible for the TCO2 overage under the trainer insurer rule.