03/20/2011 3:03PM

O'Neill to face stewards following winning horse's positive drug test at Santa Anita


ARCADIA, Calif. - The California Horse Racing Board has filed a complaint against trainer Doug O’Neill after one of his starters at Santa Anita in February tested positive for etodolac, an anti-inflammatory medication not permitted for use in racehorses.

The positive test was taken from a post-race urine sample from Separate Forest, the winner of the fifth race at Santa Anita on Feb. 5. Separate Forest earned $22,800 of a $40,400 purse in winning a $40,000 claimer on the hillside turf course as the 8-5 favorite.

O’Neill said on Sunday that a split sample of the blood test was currently being taken. The split sample of the urine revealed a positive at Iowa State University, the lab O’Neill chose, according to the racing board. The initial test was conducted at UC-Davis.

Etodolac is approved for use in humans and dogs, according to a statement from the racing board. The medication is listed as a class 3 violation, meaning a positive test would result in a redistribution of the purse and a possible sanction against the trainer. A hearing in the matter is scheduled with the board of stewards at Hollywood Park on April 29.

O’Neill, whose stable is third in the trainer standings at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, is currently litigating a complaint filed by the California Horse Racing Board after one of his starters at Del Mar lasted summer tested in excess of the permitted level of total carbon dioxide. O’Neill alleges that the testing system for carbon dioxide is flawed.