The mainstream media scrutiny of trainer Doug O'Neill will only increase in the coming days as he prepares I'll Have Another for a run at history in the Belmont. The facts won't stand in the way of some of this coverage.
Exhibit A: On CNN's Outfront, Erin Burnett discusses the “dark side of horse racing,” suggesting that O'Neill could be barred from the Belmont because of a California case in which the trainer is fighting a charge of “milkshaking” a horse. In reality, California officials have said that even if O'Neill lost his appeal and was suspended, it wouldn't affect the Belmont.
Still, O'Neill and his team must answer the valid questions about his past. O'Neill continues to deny that he's ever milkshaked a horse, saying he's spent $250,000 fighting the latest charge and investigating what else might cause a high TCO2 level, the finding that triggers a milkshake positive. This is O'Neill's fourth such violation.
In the CNN interview, O'Neill's brother Dennis, who identified I'll Have Another for purchase, went so far as to say: “We actually had to Google (milkshaking) to find out what that meant.
“We've never milkshaked a horse,” said Dennis O'Neill. “We wouldn't know how to do it.”
See the CNN piece below.
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