Not everything in the life of I'll Have Another Trainer Doug O'Neill is perfect. Amidst the biggest and best moment of his professional career, O'Neill is facing a potential fine or suspension stemming from an allegation by the California Horse Racing Board that he has drugged horses in the past, most recently in August of 2010. The Board says that on Aug. 25, 2010, Argenta, a horse trained by O'Neill, tested positive for elevated levels of TCO2.
TCO2 is a mixture of soda carbonate, sugars and electrolytes, a blend that is known as a "milkshake" in horse racing parlance. Though it's almost certain that O'Neill will not be penalized before the 2012 Belmont Stakes, the allegations and looming penalties are a dark cloud looming in the distance.
O'Neill, who has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the board, denies the allegations:
"I swear on my kids' eyes I never milkshaked a horse," O'Neill said nine days before the Preakness. "We had some people in charge of California racing I think didn't like a few of us that were doing well. Anyway, it's all being heard by the courts and I'm very confident everything will be fine."
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