12/12/2013 4:12PM

O'Neill fined for horse receiving medication shortly before Del Mar race


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Trainer Doug O’Neill was fined $1,500 on Thursday by Betfair Hollywood Park’s stewards for an incident at Del Mar that resulted in the scratch of his horse out of a race there.

The O’Neill trainee Cinco de Mario was scratched from the fifth race at Del Mar on Aug. 24 after Luis Juaregui, a safety steward for the California Horse Racing Board, observed the horse being treated at O’Neill’s barn inside the four-hour deadline for pre-race treatment.

Cinco de Mario had been treated with an amino-acid paste, Juaregui said Thursday at Hollywood Park, where he was one of the three stewards on duty for the day.

“It was about one hour before he was to be led over for the race,” Juaregui said. “I was just running through the barns.”

Horses cannot be given supplements before a race. Only feed and water are permitted within 48 hours of a race. Lasix is permitted to be administered four hours out.

O’Neill did not contest whether the paste was administered.

“There is no dispute whether it was given or not,” steward Scott Chaney said at Del Mar when the incident was first revealed.

O’Neill said his foreman gave the paste mistakenly to the wrong horse. The paste was supposed to have been given to a horse who was running the next day, O’Neill said.

--additional reporting by Steve Andersen