08/17/2012 4:15PM

Del Mar: O'Neill, leading trainer standings, begins 40-day suspension Sunday


DEL MAR, Calif. – Doug O’Neill, who tops the Del Mar trainer standings, begins a 40-day suspension on Sunday for a total carbon dioxide overage found in one of his runners at Del Mar in 2010.

Through Thursday, O’Neill had 15 wins, one more than Peter Miller. More than two weeks are left in a Del Mar meeting, which ends on Sept. 5. During his suspension, O’Neill will turn the business over to his assistant, Leandro Mora.

On Friday, O’Neill was busily overseeing the operation for a final day. He planned to travel to Arlington Park on Saturday for the Arlington Million program. When he returns to California, he will be unable to attend the races or be in the stables through Sept. 27.

“The 40 days will go by quickly,” he said.

Last month, O’Neill dropped an appeal of the total carbon dioxide overage, reaching a stipulated agreement with the California Horse Racing Board for him to begin the suspension on Sunday.

The suspension covers the end of the Del Mar meeting and the entire meeting at the Los Angeles County Fair at Fairplex Park. O’Neill was the leading trainer at Fairplex Park in 2011.

O’Neill was originally suspended 180 days, with 135 days stayed contingent upon the trainer having no violations in medication classes 1,2, or 3 through Nov. 27, 2013. When O’Neill said that he would drop his appeal, the time period of the suspension was reduced slightly. He paid a $15,000 fine.

O’Neill won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes earlier this year with I’ll Have Another, who was scratched and retired the day before the Belmont Stakes with a tendon injury. Now, O’Neill is leaving at a time when his stable has won races with promising 2-year-olds.

Know More won his career debut in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 5 and will start for Mora in the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 5. The first-time starter He’s Had Enough won his debut on Aug. 12 and is a candidate for the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park on Sept. 8. Both are owned by Paul Reddam, who raced I’ll Have Another.

As for the rest of the barn, O’Neill doubts that the stable will be as active in coming weeks as it was in the first half of Del Mar.

“We were pretty loaded at the start of the meeting,” he said. “They might not all come back and run a second or third time. If Leandro thinks they are ready to run, they’ll run.”

O’Neill said he will spend his time off with his wife and children. They have a trip to Indiana planned to attend the Michigan-Notre Dame football game on Sept. 22. He said he would like to attend a week-long farrier school in Kentucky, as well as volunteer at one of California’s equine retirement homes.

O’Neill predicted that Miller will win the training title, although Miller said on Friday that his 50-horse stable may not be large enough to hold off challenges from contenders such as Bob Baffert and John Sadler.

Through Friday, Baffert had 11 wins, two more than Sadler.

“I still think I’m an underdog,” Miller said. “I don’t have the numbers that Sadler and Baffert do. I’ve got a shot. We haven’t fired all of our bullets.”

◗ Suggestive Boy, the winner of the Wickerr Stakes on turf in July, worked a mile in 1:37.60 on Friday in preparation for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Aug. 26. Suggestive Boy was ridden by jockey Joe Talamo and galloped out 1 1/8 miles in 1:51, trainer Ron McAnally said.

Suggestive Boy is part of an expected field of 10 in the Pacific Classic, led by Hollywood Gold Cup winner Game On Dude. Other probable starters are Richard’s Kid, who won the 2009 and 2010 Pacific Classic, as well as Amani, Dullahan, Jaycito, John Scott, Kettle Corn, Rail Trip, and Where’s Sterling.

robert More than 1 year ago
TEMERITY the last Doug O'Neil starter he'd saddled before serving a suspension was vanned off after Saturdays' tenth race at Del Mar. TEMERITY was claimed by trainer peter miller. Doug also won three races on the card.
James Ronan More than 1 year ago
Racing is still the most challenging intellectual exercise of all time and if you are reasonably intelligent, do your homework, study, watch replays, KEEP RECORDS, and exercise patience, restraint, and due diligence you can win substantial amounts of money, it wouldn't hurt to have a little emotional control also...
James Ronan More than 1 year ago
I hate to throw sour grapes on all of the haters out there, yes racing is not perfect, and of course whenever and wherever money is involved there will always be cheaters (witness our politicians, NONE of whom are honest). But really folks isn't there just a little bit of rationalizing your losses at the racetrack going on here.. Mr. O'Neill has manned up and will do his penalty, I don't know what takes so long in the case of Mr. Dutrow but eventually his penalties will also take place. How about we all take responsibility for our own actions at the betting windows and stop looking for scapegoats all the time..
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
James Ronan More than 1 year ago
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
For a trainer to get suspended in Cal. you have to have a pretty lengthy rap sheet and/or a serious violation. IHA almost got away with being a drugged TC winner,if not for NYRA's diligence. Amazing how people defend him here for what he's doing on his time off. The guy has been dirty for quite awhile. The west coast version of Dutrow
mikey More than 1 year ago
Dutrow with a hat and a tan.
Ultimatehorselover More than 1 year ago
There is no one worse than Dutrow. Sorry. I may not be a fan of O'neill's actions, but what he has "done" doesn't hold a candle to what that bastard Dutrow has done, and probably will continue to do. And don't be a fool; if IHA was all "drugged up" as you idiots claim, then he more than likely wouldn't have been given the title of winning the Derby, or the Preakness.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Glad to see Doug man-up. Respect the charity work he's going to do also. Not to stir the pot here..what if Leandro gets a bad test? The press have a field day with the speculations. After all, assistants meet the vets and pass out the meds at feed time..
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Man up ??? Are you serious ? He fought this for two years and the 40 day suspension was a plea bargain. It could and should have been MUCH longer
mikey More than 1 year ago
1 down 1 to go at least he has a pair and will take the day's.He only get's 40 the guy in NEW YORK need's to get 40 year's.New york is worried about his lawyer.All they need is to say we don't have place for your horse's.The owner M Daub who just happen's to use him and rich junior.(A.K.A. RUDY).He is a major owner who race's in N.Y ALL YEAR.Run them all out of town.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
if you belieeve this is about unprovable carbon overages ive got a tooth fairy to sell you,but O'neall is right the 40 days will go by fast the truth will get swept under the rug and everything will continue just as it was.the fools will continue to bet and get beaten by the miracle trainers,this article talks about statistics O'neill makes predictions about the trainers title at del mar,seriously do these titles mean anything while trainers are able to dope horses and get away with it.
Ultimatehorselover More than 1 year ago
I don't know about any of you, but I think the suspension is a bit ridiculous for an event that happened over two years ago. Say what you want, but the horse that tested positive was only .02 over the CO2 limit. Whatever, the CA Board (having personal experience with them) doesn't always get things right, and it's not just in giving out penalties, either....
jttf More than 1 year ago
the trainers that are barely over the limit are the ones who abuse the rules the most. these trainers take their CO2 levels right up to the limit on a regular basis. the horse is still getting an advantage, because the limit levels are too high. otherwise they wouldnt be abusing the rule.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
TOO F'N SICK. Wait 'til it visits your Family...
Greg Scherr More than 1 year ago
jealousy is an ugly emotion
IAN More than 1 year ago
DM, you need professional help