Penny Chenery. Image R J Sangosti / Denver Post.

Penny Chenery speaks out on horse racing, drugs and the Triple Crown


Penny Chenery. Image R J Sangosti / Denver Post.
Penny Chenery. Image R J Sangosti / Denver Post.

“I think it is regrettable. And it isn’t the horse’s fault and this is probably a very good horse. I don’t know Mr. Reddam personally but I think he should be embarrassed that the trainer he has chosen does not have a clean record.”

So states Penny Chenery, referring to the owner of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another, who on June 9th will attempt to take American horse racing’s Triple Crown by winning the last leg, the Belmont Stakes.

I'll Have Another after winning the 2012 Run for the Roses. Google image.
I’ll Have Another after winning the 2012 Run for the Roses.

If successful, I’ll Have Another will be the first horse to take the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978, guided by a teenaged Steve Cauthen. Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, famously winning the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths.

I’ll Have Another is owned by Paul Reddam and trained by Doug “Milkshake” O’Neill. O’Neill has a steady history of drug violations, as do almost all of the top racehorse trainers in the U.S.

Andrew Cohen, in his article “Secretariat’s Owner on the Triple Crown and Racing Integrity” says about Mrs. Chenery:

    “Penny Chenery may or may not be the most important woman in the history of American horse racing but she surely is the most symbolic. The world largely knows her as the brave and graceful owner of the late Secretariat, the fastest, most sublime racehorse most of us will ever see.”

Read more at The Atlantic >>

Doug O’Neill, responding to Mr. Cohen’s article, says he is upset by Mrs. Chenery’s criticism.

Doug O'Neill. Google image.
Doug O’Neill. Google image.

It’s disappointing because of how much respect I have for Mrs. Chenery,” O’Neill said Tuesday in an Associated Press article. “I would love to have her hang out with me for a week and would stress to her, ‘Don’t believe everything that is written.’ “ .

The AP article continues:

O’Neill has been fined four times and currently faces a 45-day suspension because one of his horses was found to have an excess level of total carbon dioxide following a race — frequently a sign of an illegal practice known as milkshaking.

Because O’Neill did not administer a typical “milkshake” to the horse in question, he seems to feel justified in denying he has ever “milkshaked” or otherwise doctored a horse. His record clearly shows otherwise.

Is this O’Neill’s version of California dreaming? All I can say is, change the record. -Ed.


Tuesday’s Horse


A lust to win, an incentive to cheat: The stain on American Thoroughbred racing

The O’Neill brothers, the meaning of milkshakes and fixing of horse races

If I’ll Have Another wins the Triple Crown should it be denoted with an asterisk?

I’ll Have Another . . . shock wave therapy treatment please


Milkshaker O’Neill to run two in Breeders’ Cup


Del Mar 2007: Medication in Racing

Int’l Fund for Horses

The Chemical Horse, by Jane Allin

8 thoughts on “Penny Chenery speaks out on horse racing, drugs and the Triple Crown”

  1. Hooray for Ms. Chenery a classy, educated lady. It would be nice to see I’ll have Another win the Triple Crown however both O’Neill and his owner (professor-please-did he ever teach a class before he turned into a “loan agent”) are both dirtballs. Listen to O’Neill speak. Idiot. It was wonderful to see honorable owners like the Jacksons who owned Barbaro, trainers like Matz or even Baffert. O’Neill is hideous and similar to the dishonest trainer of Big Brown. Agree with one comment here that O’Neill lucked into this horse. So did the owner for a cheap price. Both dirty.


  2. Obviously this is hype to make it all that much more money intense, interesting and so much more like money-making “reality” TV. You want to know the REAL travesty behind thoroughbred racing? It’s the stuff you don’t hear about, factual articles that tell you that past Derby winners have been used up and slaughtered in the most inhumane fashion now that people have used up their dollar value… not to mention foals, yearlings, 2 and 3 yr olds, to the aged that have given everything they’ve got to amuse people… Yet the owners still need to get every last $500.00 out of a horse that delighted many, brought people together, and yet their last weeks, hours and minutes are given back in a terrifying odyssey. That’s the f*g thanks they get. Google it and find out… Milion dollar sires, let alone their dams, yearlings, their get that aren’t quite fast enough, not sound enough … that just don’t fill the void – if they don’t make it, throw them on a literal bus for slaughter. For God’s sake, you greedy no good … just put them down and don’t torture them. Horses, which are fight or flight animals and are NOT cattle in case there’s any confusion, sent to slaughter are more likely than not, despite the horrific torture of packing them in like sardines for days or weeks on end, breaking uncared for limbs, no food, water, and not even getting a soft touch at the end of their days, are also given the send off, in a lot of cases, by being cut to pieces while they’re still alive and conscious… No? Research it… The past few years of slaughter in Canada and Mexico… probably far worse than you would imagine and there are videos to prove it if you can stomach watching the horror. Of all the money the thoroughbred industry makes off these animals, at least allow them a quiet and humane death if you’re so inclined to go that route. I’ve been probably the biggest fan of racing since I was a child in Secretariat’s time up until recently, but no more. I can’t bear to watch these animals break down or even when they do come out okay, knowing what I know now, after knowing just how they take care of a Derby winner like Ferdinand, maybe I’ll Have Another may just also end up the first triple crown winner to be slaughtered so someone in France or Japan gets to eat his heart for a few extra bucks? What’s next? Seems to be the greedy, heartless way of the industry these days. Google the sad fate of Ferdinand… an awesome Derby winner and see what happened to that majestic horse, or google “triple crown slaughter” and see what comes up there. It makes me ill. So smoke screen all you like using Penny Chenery’s comments – the real issue is throwing away living, breathing, majestic animals that want to please people, into an abyss of hell just to make a few extra hundred dollars for already affluent, unfeeling people who apparently seem to be taking over the industry. God bless the owners with hearts, but they appear to be outnumbered. May I just say… Karma to those heartless souls and corporations that couldn’t be bothered to remember the animal, only the money.


    1. O’Neill is no trainer. The only way he can get winners is by cheating; he seems to be pretty darn good at that. There are plenty just like him around. Now O’Neill has lucked into this wonderfully, gutsy little horse (I’ll Have Another) and thinks he has done it all. Interesting how these types think they are great when they luck into a great horse. As my Dad said, ‘Great horses makes great trainers’. I think I’ll Have Another should get extra kudos for winning like he has. Who knows what he has had to endure along the way, as almost every single horse trained to race in the U.S. must.


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