No Breeders' Cup for O'Neill Due to NY Suspension - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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No Breeders’ Cup for O’Neill Due to NY Suspension

As a result of the New York State Gaming Commission issuing a 45-day suspension to trainer Doug O'Neill, Breeders' Cup Limited has released the following statement. Trainers who are not allowed to pre-enter horses are prohibited from running in the Breeders' Cup:

“Due to the recent administrative action by the New York State Gaming Commission, Breeders' Cup Limited has informed trainer Doug O'Neill, and has notified the California Horse Racing Board, of the provisions of the Breeders' Cup Convicted Trainers rule. Under that rule, adopted in 2010 and amended in 2012, Mr. O'Neill will not be permitted to pre-enter horses in the 2014 Breeders' Cup World Championships.”

The Breeders' Cup Convicted Trainers Rule states the following:

No person may participate as a trainer of a horse pre-entered or entered in a Breeders' Cup World Championships race if that person, during the twelve months preceding the Breeders' Cup World Championships, has been found by any racing regulatory agency, whether a governmental agency or a non-governmental regulatory body, to have violated a racing regulation prohibiting the possession or use of any substance listed under Class 1, carrying Category “A” or “B” penalties, or Class 2, carrying a Category “A” penalty, in the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances or a racing regulation prohibiting the possession or use of steroids and the appeal periods for such finding shall have expired or all appeals, if any, will have received final disposition (a “Drug Conviction”).

O'Neill issued the following response Friday to the Breeders' Cup's ruling:

“‎I accept the Breeders' Cup decision that I will not be permitted to participate in the 2014 Breeders' Cup World Championships and I will not appeal it.

In agreeing to settle the underlying allegations made by the New York State Gaming Commission that Wind of Bosphorous, a horse for which I was the trainer of record, tested positive for a benzodiazepine drug, I agreed to be suspended from participating as a thoroughbred trainer for 45 days and pay a $10,000 fine. 

 I maintain that I did not administer the drug, and I am confident that none of my employees or staff did either.  In fact, I was not present or even in the state of New York when the alleged infraction took place. Nevertheless, I was the trainer of record and take responsibility for the positive test. 

One of the reasons I wanted to resolve these allegations was to not be a distraction to the racing community.  Unfortunately, it has become clear that certain reactions to the settlement have had the opposite effect.  In particular, the provision that my suspension be postponed until after the Breeders' Cup has caused a particularly strong reaction in some quarters. 

I now realize that delaying the suspension so that I could participate in the Breeders' Cup was a mistake. Accordingly, after further reflection and prior to the Breeders' Cup announcement that I could not participate, I made a request to the New York State Gaming Commission that my suspension begin on October 6, 2014, or as soon thereafter as is practicable.  

I truly care about the horses under my care and the sport that we all love and do not wish for my suspension to do any more harm than it has already done.” 

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