A day before the running of the Belmont Stakes, I wrote that there was an ominous cloud hanging over this year's event. I'll Have Another's trainer Doug 0'Neill was cited by the California Racing Board for drug violations and suspended for 45 days beginning July 1st the horse was heavily favored to become the first to win a Triple Crown in 34 years only to be disappointingly scratched
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0steoaritis is not an injury. Dr. Sheilia Lyanons, a respected vetenarian, said that is "was not something a doctor expects to find in a relativel young horse like I'll Have Another. Kent Sterling of the National Horsemen's Benovolent Protective Association, claims that Lasix "did not improve a horse's performance." Dr. Lyons has her doubts. Lasix s banned in Europe ane other parts of the world because it flushed 20-430 pouunds of water from a horse. Dr. Lyons response was that "if a lie is told long enough, it starts to sound like the truth."
Now the plot thickens. 0'Neill claimed he was unaware that Dr.James Hunt had diagnosed osteoaritis in the days after the Preakness. What? The horse's owner, Paul Reddam added to the absurdity. He maintained that he was not aware that I'll Have Another had been x-rayed after the Preakness but was not surprised that he had been given painkillers and medication Is anybody going to believe that?
There was one final scene that was played. 0'Neil was originally given a 180-day suspension in California for drug violations more than a dozen times in four states. The suspension was reduced to 45 days which 0'Neill appealed. He will now serve a 40-day one beginning August 19. Yet, 0'Neill was arrogant to the end. "I respect the racing board but I don't agree with it," he bellowed.
Reddam was active, too. He accepted bids for I'll Have Another from American breeders but couldn't get higher than a $4 million offer. Like manna from above, he got a $10 million bid from a breeder in Japan. With all the drugs that was infused in I'll Have Another, who knows if he will be able to perform as a stud...