Andrew Cohen not rooting for ‘Another’

by | 05.17.2012 | 4:12pm

Andrew Cohen at the Atlantic writes that while he would like to see a Triple Crown winner, he's hoping I'll Have Another does not become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to accomplish that feat. Cohen, like many others, thinks that racing needs a Triple Crown winner to bring the sport back into the spotlight. The problem with I'll Have Another being the horse to bring it back is the spotlight it would put on trainer Doug O'Neill, his issues with allegations of drugging horses, and drug use in the sport in general.  The spotlight would highlight the issues horse racing has with not just use of drugs in racing, but also the problems it has enforcing rules.

Doug O'Neill, for example, is fighting allegations that he milkshaked a horse in 2010. He faces the possibility of a 180-day suspension for an act that occurred two years ago. He asked for, and was granted, a stay of suspension until a hearing could be held on the issue.

Cohen writes: “Can you imagine any professional sport or enterprise tolerating such a delay between the announcement of an offense and the disposition of one? There is an entire class of trainers, in both Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing, whose members go about their daily jobs under suspended sentences–in legal limbo but free to make a living, earn more purse money, and create the kind of gash marks on the sport that O'Neill's case has created over the past two weeks.”

Cohen continues: “The scandal here is that the industry has treated O'Neill no differently than thousands of other suspected trainers, jockeys and drivers over the past decades. I understand the presumption of innocence as much as the next fellow. But there is a difference between protecting that presumption and living up to the responsibility that racing participants have toward one another–and toward the public. The sooner the industry bridges this gulf, the stronger it will be.”

This leads Cohen to question whether or not I'll Have Another winning the Triple Crown is actually a good thing. It would bring a spotlight to racing, but the spotlight would highlight the problems, not the triumphs.

  • Gtony63

    Whether you like O’Neill or not…this article is 110% on the money.

  • Rachel

    I’ll be rooting for him….
    Go, Miranda’s Tigers, go.

  • Lt. Kendrick

    But “serious racing journalists” are rooting for O’Neill. Claire Novak tweeted her picture, with her and O’Neill giving a big thumbs up. Imagine the outcry if a political journalist was photographed arm in arm with Obama or Romeny. These “journalists” kiss up to these trainers so they can hang out with them. Did she ask O’Neill about the milkshakes or the dead horses at Los Alamitos. Of course not.

  • MA

    “Doug O’Neill trains the Derby winner. I had never heard of him before this year’s stakes season…”

    Annnnd the author loses credibility by paragraph five. How can even a part-time racing journalist never have heard of Doug O’Neill?

  • Dantana

    Does Maryland require horses receiving shock wave therapy to be on the vet’s list?
    What is the cut off time?  Have any Preakness entrants been shocked waved within
    that time frame?
    How many 2012 Ky Derby horses received shock wave treatment prior to running?

  • Alex Brown

    while I won’t have an opinion here on O’Neill, I think there is a big difference reporting on sports, and reporting on politics.  In the latter case, you can influence outcomes, a sports reporter cannot influence the outcome, so no harm done I think.

  • Otis

    Shockwave therapy is a highly regarded treatment for an array of injuries/soreness when performed by a reputable veterinarian within a suitable timeframe for racing or other equine sports.   

  • Fatmattcory

    Im sick of everyone crying over milkshaking.  Plain and simple its baking soda  Its not a drug.  If the tree huggers would wake up they would realize, if it were made legal, we would significantly reduce the amount of breakdowns we have now.  Reduce fatigue reduce breakdowns.  Ask any older trainer, they use to put baking soda in a horses feed every day.

  • LIz Jamieson.

    I really agree – I wish another horse with a different trainer wins on Saturday.

  • Mikeywantsone

    While I agree with Andrew’s general idea, I disagree slightly.  I am rooting for him in the Preakness, to get over 100,000 and great TV Ratings for The Belmont.  I will not root for him in The Belmont though.

  • ktq1

    Right on brotha!

  • Damon Runyon

    Good questions, which I doubt anyone will answer.

  • Frank L.

    Doug O’Neil —-

    Go Daddy Go!!!

    I hope you win the Triple Crown and
    shove it to all the know nothings.

    Who in the world is Andrew Cohen anyway
    — another media hot shot trying to influence perception without the
    facts being verified. This is how the “MEDIA” is bringing down

    Now, you want to crucify O”Neil, how
    many top horses of the past were milkshaked — it’s been around
    since the sixties, but has not been tested for until recently. How
    do “YOU” know Secretariat, John Henry, Cigar, Kelso, Dr. Fager,
    etc., etc., were not milkshaked — it was “NEVER” tested for?
    There is nothing new today that has not existed before in the past
    — even snake venom. People are so gullible when led by the
    “AGENDA” driven media.

    Even steroids were around in the 70’s
    — how many greats raced on steroids? You want to bring horse
    racing down, with its Hall Of Fame, go ahead and let degenerates like
    Andrew Cohen stir you in the direction of doom.

    Also, remember that Europe has “ALWAYS”
    followed the U.S. in the past, that because the people of the U.S.
    were tied together, and had pride in Americans — I still do!! Let
    Europe race the way they want, keep the U.S. sovereign, and true to
    giving the little guy the same chance as the “big money rollers”
    — that’s what this is all about, putting more money into the
    pockets of “big money” — Stallion syndication of unsound
    breeding stock, just a few recent examples of horses that the public
    should be aware of:

    Unbridled Song —  Fractured cannon bone;
    re-occurring feet/hoof problems ; Sire

    of  many injury prone offspring.  Just Goggle
    his name!!

     Animal Kingdom — Stress fracture

    Havre de Grace — lateral ligament in ankle

    Misremembered — Tendon

    Dunkirk — condylar fracture

    Archarcharch — condylar fracture

    Princess Arabella — Tendon

    Eskendereya — Soft Tissue (usually tendon or

    Winslow Homer — slab fracture

    Old Fashioned — slab fracture

  • Nick

    I will be rooting for Dutrow’s horse

  • guest

    Dont worry about o’neill winning the triple crown. That “synthetic” specialist Dullahan is going to be rested and waiting in New York for I’ll have another.

  • James D. Jimenez

    Rooting against a horse because of allegations, now that’s real classy! Crawl back into your hole and wait until you something positive to say, until then it’s just noise.

  • James D. Jimenez

    Are you aware that Belmont racetrack is dirt and not synthetic? 

    P.S. I’ll Have Another also handles the synthetic tracks.

  • Citation1012

    I much rather be a tree hugger, a member of PETA, a Commie in the 50’s…etc, than see horses abused for the profit.  America has changed, for better or worse is up for debate, since horses were a beast of burden.  America now cares about animals, look around.  For example, there is a greyhound adoption every month in my area.  The closest greyhound track in my area is over 700 miles away.  I dare NOT to say am a horseracing fan.  A slight mention of it brings scorn.
    Listen to people outside of the horseracing business, the industry reputation is on par with Iran/NK nukes, illegal japanese fishing nets,  the paris hilton sex tape, Jersey shore.

    I love the sport, but cannot justify the wrong doing.   Thus I will not wager on races from my land of birth NM or currently the nearest track to me, Penn National.  If anyone receives money from the sport, Owners, trainers, even bloggers it must clean it up or it will vanish. 

  • Jimmy

    HAHAHAHAHA…that would really get the  juices flowing (pun intended) if Dutrow wins with that longshot!!… about loading it for the NYT…..HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Tiznowbaby

    Tubing a horse is a whole different ballgame from sprinkling some baking soda in the feedtub. In addition, it’s dangerous to combine milkshaking with Salix/Lasix — risks severe colic. I just don’t agree with all the crap people want to shove into horses while claiming it’s natural and in fact makes their lives better. We rationalize a lot of sorry stuff that we do to horses in the pursuit of the dollar.

  • Gerry

    Well said

  • dh

    Yes, an O’neill, Dutrow, and Asmussen trifecta, that would about say it all.

  • Me

    So what are you saying? Since it wasn’t tested in the past it is OK now? You are a moron.

  • Lobieb

    All I can say is REMEMBER……BERNADETTE…… Enough said.

  • tfly

    Shock wave in MD is regulated.   Vets have to file such treatment with the stewards.  Horses are not permitted to run for a set time after the treatment.   I don’t remember the exact length of time, but i don’t think i”ll get another would be able to get the treatment and run this Sat.   Perhaps someone remembers the exact time exclusion.

  • Randy in Lakeland

    I guess you are from California? The whole country tilts towards Cal. and all the fruits and nuts roll in. Stay home!!!

  • Frank L.

    Me —

    The fact that I have to explain a
    simple comment shows who is the moron!

    What I am saying is that all the
    negative media has to do with bringing racing down, “NOT”improving
    it!! O’Neils past has nothing to do with today’s Triple Crown
    unless impropriety is found — especially since the last incidence
    hasn’t even been ruled on, OR HEARD IN “COURT”. Another thing.
    Why is Barbaro, and Eight Belles (not that you brought this up)
    continually brought up when talking race day medication — there was
    never, “NEVER”, any connection between race day med’s and the
    unfortunate events that took place with respect to each of them —
    “MANIPULATION by the press geared to negative perception!!

    Strange that there is “NO” negative
    media with respect to breeding unsound Stallions, or Broodmares,
    which can be easily verified, maybe because there is “no” big
    money behind that investigative travesty, the base for race day
    medications in the first place!!

    Explaining further, if Lasix, steroids,
    race day medications are NOW outlawed, for whatever reason the
    “MEDIA” deems necessary, all of the history past has to be
    suspect because everything being outlawed was always viewed as
    proper in the past. Why is that so hard to understand — maybe
    because understanding entails a bit of knowledge, hmmm? Remember,
    enhanced records are No records at all!

  • Davidbaker

    I just don’t want anyone with the ‘ symbol in their last name to win.

  • Crab Cakes Anyone?

    If I’ll Have Another wins the Preakness, the spotlight on Doug O’Neill will be 50 times brighter than it was for the last two weeks opening up the sport to the scrutiny of the mainstream media and, in turn, the American public. It will be a far cry from 2003 and 2004 when sports fans rallied around Funny Cide and Smarty Jones. He and the sport will get hammered, further exposing safety issues, the medication morass, lack of meaningful penalties and lack of leadership. 

    Depending on your pov, that’s either reason to root for the horse or root against him. 

  • Barry Irwin

    Alex, my friend, if I see you next week at Fair Hill, I will explain the difference to you.

  • Barry Irwin

    I was taken aback by this admission as well. Sort of hurts the writer’s credibility on this subject, hey?

  • Whitehouse landlord

     I am in agreement with you Frank.  This vicious underhanded attack by the MEDIA on horse racing mirrors precisely what the MEDIA is doing in America today.  And making this ridiculous noise during the premier racing season is a tactic used openly by the MEDIA today.  It is a tactic, designed and purposed to create havoc and smoke screen political maneuvers.  It is a tactic devised to scrutinize under a public microscope anyone the liberal media disapproves of.  It is a well documented tactic devised by Alinsky.  Turn the microscope on the media and watch the roaches scuttle.  Comparing European and American racing is apples and oranges.  There will always be unsoundness in horses because they are not machines.  Any person out there wants to try living their lives without their beloved prescription drugs?  Try alternative treatment and the FDA goes bonkers.  Now that the powers that be have primed the airwaves with drugged horses that is all people see.  You people are push button.  Since when is baking soda a drug for God’s sake.  I use it myself and it is highly effective.  Good grief.  I am sick of the screeching and it sounds like all of you who attack O’Neill are little paid assassins.  Dutrow has been attacked the same way.  The idiots gouging him admit publicly the infractions are more administrative than anything.  Administrative!  How do you get so crazed over administrative errors!  I would not even be sure that unsoundness is entirely genetic.  There are too many other factors that contribute to physical deterioration that the government sponsored morons refuse to consider.  The less the government has to do with anything, the better.  Their War on Drugs is not only a failure, it is horribly expensive. Government is incapable of making the impact on the racing industry that everyone seems to think is so needed.  The kicker on this is that the people who want government intervention are bent only on government intervention.  That IS the design.  Drugs in the industry are only the shoe horn.  Since when is drug treatment, abuse?

    Of course, there will be attacks now on this blog and I will be called any number of names.  Yes, I am a fan and from the point of view of those “in the know” my vote counts.  After all, isn’t public perception a main point of concern for those driving the government into this business?  Professionals will want to tell me to sit down and shut up because I do not have their knowledge.  Another time honored tactic.  I do know that with the present role of the media in attacking anything it is directed to for purposes of government intervention, the mirror of that in the racing industry is NOT A GOOD IDEA.

  • Whitehouse landlord

    One more item,

  • Michtay14

    I’m rooting for the horse and the jockey.  I have been very disappointed at the coverage for both him and the horse.  It’s all about how Bodemeister is better, and Doug is an evil man.  We get it.  We hear you.  And yes, I would rather a trainer like Graham Motion win the Triple Crown.  But give the Derby winner and jockey their due and some credit…the horse has talent and guts, and the jockey is a talented kid who loves the horse and is humbled by the experience.

  • Frank L.

    Randy —
    Just a quick question, although you may not understand it — where was the Derby winner from?

  • Frank L.

    Whitehouse —

    Those “in the know” will not
    attack, or, disagree with you. You hit the nail right on the head.
    It’s always hard to argue against the truth.

    Understand it is big money that is
    behind this “obscure” push — it has nothing to do with “what’s
    best for racing”, no more than “big money” is behind what’s
    best for the people of the U.S.!!!


    Whitehouse — The only reason I
    brought up the breeding industry is because there is more flim flam
    going on there, BUT, the breeding industry is where “big money”
    resides, and the flim flaming goes unreported and untouched because
    the media has not been “DIRECTED” there.

  • MA

    I guess you are from New York? How the heck did you get California from that comment? Just because he’s defending O’Neill doesn’t mean he’s from California. Are the only people who defend Dutrow from New York, ’cause that would mean the author is simultaneously from there, too.

  • Olebobbowers

    Yes Lobieb, one need go no further. Oh, but we don’t understand…he says although he gave $50k for her shortly before, he dropped her down to $2k ‘so he could start her career over.’ How can he live with himself, knowing that as that poor filly (RIP) thrashes in excruciating pain with the bright lights of Los Alamitos glaring in her confused eyes until she’s finally put to sleep by the track veterinarian. These poor horses are 100% dependant on their ‘trainers’, and how anyone thinks they belong training horses after committing this ‘premeditated murder’, is beyond me. The CHRB said they couldn’t prove intent…WTF??? Having a filly drop from $50k, to $25k, to $2k, (and her DEATH) in three consecutive starts isn’t intent enough? I hope Karma catches up with Drug and the State Vet. that approved Bernadette to race that fateful night. How can you look into that gorgeous filly’s eyes, and then put her through such a nightmare? Oh, just remembered, Drug didn’t care about horses and come in as a ‘horseman’, he was just a grandstand bettor. One I wish never cleared the stable area security gate. I can’t root against IHA, because the owner, jockey and jockey agent are all deserving of the success, and Karma may well be setting Mr. O’Neill up for an even bigger drop. As a lifelong exercise rider/trainer (ret.) I’ve worked on the backstretch’s of race tracks all over the country since 1952 and can verify Karma is ever-present. It belongs there one heck of a lot more than the heartless person that could look into Bernadette’s beautiful eyes before sending her to her long, drawn out, terrifying death. At least the jockey wasn’t paralyzed or killed, guess that didn’t matter to this hungry butcher either though…he wanted that $2,000 at all costs. I wish they had future wagering on how long before Karma strikes on Bernadette’s behalf. ;'(

  • Frank L.

    Tiznowbaby —

    Pretty much like you rationalize the
    harm that’s done. What do “YOU” actually know other than what
    you read and are “LED” to believe by the media? Keep running
    down a game that existed long before YOU were born, and an “AGENDA”
    was formed by big money to usurp even bigger profits from the drones
    — making these very same drones applaud the usurpation of
    interests, and big, big, money!!

    Racing is fine just the way that it is.
    Penalties will increase as the people “directly” involved pin
    point the cheaters, and ban them!!

    Remember, Bobby Frankel began as a hot
    shot from New York with the same kind of resume of many trainers of
    today, that being, claiming cheap, racing back and winning on double,
    or even triple jumps (Ref Jamie Ness), Frankel came to CA, continued
    his domination, BUT, smartly, changed direction from claiming to high
    priced type horses. Nothing degrading or derogatory was ever written
    about Frankel.

    If you actually understood what you
    were talking about, you would not comment because of that very same
    understanding. You “know” what the “MEDIA” propagates, BUT,
    you do “NOT” understand horse racing, medications, the rules
    that apply, or, the rulings that are made!!

    You are one of majority who comment on
    this site — as one commenter put it, it’s just “mere words”,
    empty words I might add!

    Ignorance is easily led in “ANY”
    direction because of lack of understanding. That sums up most who
    comment here!!

  • Frank L.

    Whitehouse —

    People who comment here are not
    interested in facts — that might interfere with their own “hateful”
    dialogue. Injustice is all around us, all we can do as a trainer is
    the best we can — it works most of the time.

    People here, on this site, have no idea
    what happens to most horses after their racing days are over. They
    do “NOT” go to retirement farms that look like Calumet!!
    Retirement for run of the mill horses, as run of the mill people, is
    NOT pretty. It costs money to retire, and to “SUPPORT”
    retirement. Most horses are better off being put down rather than
    suffer the indignity of a riding stable, being the property of an
    owner with little money, being the property of a young person who no
    longer has the time, being turned out in a large field with little
    food, medical care, or grooming — what the heck does the public
    really know, or have experienced. Stay in your dream worlds put
    together by the ignorant MEDIA!!

  • Whitehouse landlord

     Not yet Frank.  Not yet.

    What do you bet that if this takeover actually goes through that in one year drugs will be creeping back into the scene through additional regulatory practices?  A journalist some time ago asked, where is the tea party for horses?  I think we’re here.  As a fan and in reasonable control of my faculties, some amount of flim flamming will go on wherever people congregate in groups of two or more and breeding industry practices are no exception.  It appears that the big dollar owners and breeders, God bless them, do really use the commercial studs as often as possible.  Also, those dollars support one hell of a lot more horses.  Just saying that breeding could use a little more homework instead of ‘where can I spend $100,000 for my champion filly?’  Money does create liquidity.  To what degree that results in poor breeding practices remains to be seen.  But narrowing arguments against horse break downs to drugs and breeding is opportunistic and we agree, destructive representation by a media, to an uninformed public.  Who, by the way should get their butts out of the mall and study something, anything! 

  • Barry Irwin

    This story reminds me of an old. Here’s the short version.

    Guy 1 sees Guy 2 at a restaurant.

    Guy 1 says “Hey, I never see you at the track anymore.”

    Guy 2 says, “Yeah, I stopped going.”

    Guy 1 says “Why?”

    Guy 2 says “Because everybody I rooted against has died and I have nothing to root for now.”

  • Frank L.

    Finally, Barry, something that indicates positive comment for racing — if you truly believe what you write?

  • MA

    Burna Dette

  • Turnbackthealarm

    After reading your posts for the last six months, there is only one conclusion: You are an absolute unequivocal NUTJOB!

  • Frank L.

    Turnbackthealarm —

    Yes, that would appear to be the case
    among people that do “NOT” understand and group around in
    ignorance. Understanding is a funny thing — it leads to the
    “ability” to open ones eyes, and stop being led around by the


    Your chain is dangling!!

  • Frank L.

    Maybe she “KNOWS” more about these
    situations than you?

  • Barry Irwin

    Frank, everyday of the week I display my positiveness about racing by my actions as an owner, my investment in the industry and my recruitment of new owners. Don’t confuse my constructive criticism as being negative. I am a problem solver. I always offer solutions and plenty of what I have campaigned for over the years has been put into action in our game.

  • Onroad1234

    Getting new fans from a Triple crown winner is just ridiculous. only current fans will care or pay attention

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