I'll Have Another winning the Kentucky Derby

Trainer of Kentucky Derby winner has a troubled record

Cross-posted from the New York Times

by JOE DRAPE

“O’Neill’s Derby victory places him — and his troubled record — center stage at a time when thoroughbred racing is facing perhaps its greatest ethical reckoning”.
Doug O'Neill.  Rob Carr/Getty Images.
The trainer Doug O’Neill, center, celebrating the victory of his 3-year-old colt, I’ll Have Another, in the Kentucky Derby. Rob Carr/Getty Images.

A year before, in 2010, O’Neill was punished for administering an illegal performance-enhancing concoction to a horse he ran in the prestigious Illinois Derby — the third time he had been accused of giving a horse what is known as a milkshake. Four months later, he was accused again of giving a milkshake to a horse in California.

Over 14 years and in four different states, O’Neill received more than a dozen violations for giving his horses improper drugs. O’Neill’s horses also have had a tendency to break down. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the horses he trains break down or show signs of injury at more than twice the rate of the national average.

But none of it — the drug charges or the rate of damaged horses under his care — has much impeded O’Neill’s rise in the ranks of racing, and so there he was last Saturday, saddling I’ll Have Another, the surprising 3-year-old who won the 138th Kentucky Derby. Continue reading >>

7 thoughts on “Trainer of Kentucky Derby winner has a troubled record”

  1. You and me both Linda.

    The only question is: are there any “sound” horses racing these days?

    As much as it seems a silly question I truly believe it is valid.

    Perhaps I am overly pessimistic :(

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  2. Trial and error … just like the BLM’s trial and error with the wild horses and burros. When is a independent, peer-reviewed, scientific study going to be done? I’d like to see a group of sound horses quarantined from all drugs for several months race. They might even do better!

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  3. The fact that he is the trainer of the Kentucky Derby winner sours the whole Triple Crown.

    I just keep asking why this has to be the way then realize that how could it be any other way given the state of horse racing these days. It seems cheating is what its all about.

    All you have to do is look at who wins these prestigious races. All of the “chemists” are at the top of the list. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/sports/04racing.html

    Some may argue that these people train proportionately more horses but the real issue is the fact that these people resort to drugs to win. Need I say more?

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