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Trainer O’Neill suspended

The Associated Press


Trainer Doug O’Neill vigorously denied giving one of his horses a performance-enhancing mixture that violated the rules. After a nearly two-year legal battle, California racing officials agreed with him while still finding fault because of a rule that says trainers are ultimately responsible for horses in their care.

The ruling Thursday calls for O’Neill to be suspended 45 days, but it won’t take effect until after he saddles Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

The ban comes in the final weeks of I’ll Have Another’s attempt to become horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed 34 years ago. The colt trained by O’Neill won the Derby on May 5 and took the Preakness on Saturday.

The maximum fine is $15,000.