10/03/2014 2:26PM

O'Neill barred from entering horses in Breeders' Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Doug O'Neill

Trainer Doug O’Neill, recently suspended by the New York State Gaming Commission for a medication violation and facing potential additional sanctions from the California Horse Racing Board, will be prohibited from pre-entering horses in the Breeders’ Cup, the Breeders’ Cup announced Friday.

In a statement released by the Breeders’ Cup, Craig Fravel, the president and chief executive of the Breeders’ Cup, said the move against O’Neill was “due to the recent administrative action by the New York State Gaming Commission,” with Fravel citing a Breeders’ Cup rule, adopted in 2010 and amended in 2012, that bars trainers who have been found to have Class 1 or Class 2 medication violations in the preceding 12 months.

O’Neill this week was suspended 45 days and fined $10,000 by New York authorities for the finding of the drug Oxazepam, a sedative with muscle-relaxing properties, in the post-race sample of Wind of Bosphorus, who won a $35,000 claiming race at Belmont Park on June 2, 2013.

Oxapezam is a Class 2 drug, according to the American Racing Commissioners International’s website.

“I accept the Breeders’ Cup decision and will not appeal,” O’Neill said in a telephone call. “These are the two biggest days of the sport, and the last thing I want to do is be a distraction. The focus should be on these beautiful horses, and not on me.”

O’Neill won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last year with Goldencents, who was scheduled to have his final prep for this year’s Breeders’ Cup in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Saturday. O’Neill had several other potential Breeders’ Cup runners, including Private Zone, who is bound for the BC Sprint after winning the Vosburgh in New York last week. O’Neill, 46, is best known for winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2012 with I’ll Have Another.

The New York suspension for O’Neill is set to begin Nov. 3 – after the Breeders’ Cup is run at Santa Anita on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 – and last until Dec. 17, just before Santa Anita’s main winter meeting begins Dec. 26.

However, O’Neill said he had reached out Friday to New York authorities to see if his suspension could begin as early as Monday so he would be officially on suspension during the Breeders’ Cup.

“I just want to get this behind me,” he said.

O’Neill could face additional penalties from California authorities owing to a medication violation in 2010 that was adjudicated in 2012.

On Aug. 25, 2010, at Del Mar, one of O’Neill’s horses, Argenta, was found to have raced with a higher-than-permitted level of total carbon dioxide. For that violation, the CHRB on May 29, 2012, suspended O’Neill’s license for 180 days but stayed 135 of those days provided O’Neill did not receive another medication positive at a California track or any U.S. or international racing jurisdiction for a Class 1, 2, or 3 drug during an 18-month probationary period.

The New York violation would seem to fall within that 18-month period.

The CHRB is aware of the sanctions imposed against O’Neill by the New York commission. The issue is under investigation by the CHRB.

– additional reporting by David Grening

Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Dee R. Eff… Don't use the word "disparage" lightly. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm saying list the proof to your assertions. And if you don't you're disparaging the trainers you say have more DRUG infractions than O'neill. Ta da! ;-)
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
This is old news, it's only Being brought up again because time has come to serve his suspension. Best thing in horse racing is to be a drug free sport to avoid these type of issue's which are giving the Sport Of Kings a black eye and more reason for childish behavior and childish comment's by so called adults that don't know-how to interact in a civil manner on an open form........
jan More than 1 year ago
it is not just in America, google the following: Queen Elizabeth II horse Estimate fails drug test. i use to think it was just us but seeing godolphin, the queen, etc.... everyone looking for an edge...money is involved
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
There was a rash of positives. It was quickly proven to be feed. True. It's a fact. You should have also read the follow up articles.
JAHMAN More than 1 year ago
How benevolent to start your disgraceful suspension right away to return in time for Winter Racing @ Santa Anita
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
A perfect example of danged if you do and danged if you don't. Every one screamed that he should not be allowed to delay the suspension until after the Breeders Cup. So he asks to take it now to appease the critics, and now he gets slammed for that.
Helena Kruse More than 1 year ago
about time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Dee R. Eff… I'm still waiting for that list that tallies up the total of infractions for each trainer. ;-)
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
You're a hoot, we just talked about this and you come up here an attempt to disparage me again. If you're going to puff up your chest then decide whether you want to wager on it or not. I'll give you 5-1 odds for as must as you can muster. Yes or no.
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
How odd to want the proof before the wager. Such big talk. I thought I was talking to a man, one with no backbone who should be ashamed, but maybe it's a woman or young woman, but you still should be ashamed to call someone out, and attempt to disparage without the facts first. Not surprised you ran without even answering if wager or no wager before being given the proof. My guess is you found the information and are now crying about it. The truth is hard to take for some. Anyone worth anything would stand up, and admit their mistake.
Gerald Gerdy More than 1 year ago
On Bryant Gumbels sports show, 3 years ago, It was reported that a long list of trainers, in Southern California racetracks had multiple drug infractions. The penalties were small fines without any suspensions..
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Dear Dee R. Eff Go ahead and click another thumbs up for yourself
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
How could I possibly do that. So you too think I'm wrong? I'll give you 5-1 odds. You won't take it.
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
If you're pouting about the question I put to you earlier, I'll ask you again. Why would a vet prescribe and administer Thyroxine to 100% of all of Bafferts horses. He admitted after the investigation that all of horses were on Thyroxine. You say a vet is never involved or has nothing to do with these things. So answer the question. Don't run away from the question then come up here and play tough guy.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Not sure why all his horses were on such Meds. Maybe Baffert wanted to give them all this. Maybe his Vet said there is no harm with or without, maybe Baffert wanted to give just because, not sure........
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
so you think every horse in his barn had a thyroid condition? So if Baffert wants to give them a drug meant to be performance enhancing it's ok, but if another trainer with less drug violations than him gets an overage or a trace amount not meant to be performance enhancing you call for his head? Yea, that's fair.
Christia More than 1 year ago
If racing could waive a magic want and remove drugs from this sport....Women trainers would rule the racing world.
Dickie RCowles More than 1 year ago
Not a chance. They all cover for there mates.would you like to name names?
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
I'll correct you meydan. You call me out in a separate post, then you deserve the same and to be embarrassed. You are wrong. I am right. The statement you refuse to believe is correct. And I'm willing to bet anything you want on it. You and many others hide you heads in the sand.Grow up and learn the truth and apply it fairly to all.