Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winning
trainer Doug O'Neill will be forced to take a break from the Triple
Crown hoopla this week and focus on another pressing issue, his
immediate future in the sport.
The California Horse Racing Board will meet Thursday in a
closed session at Betfair Hollywood Park to discuss the final decision
from hearing officer Steffan Imhoff regarding charges Argenta, an
O'Neill runner who finished eighth in a race Aug. 25, 2010, at Del Mar,
was found to have elevated total carbon dioxide levels in its blood as
the result of a concoction of performance enhancers commonly referred to
as a "milkshake."
O'Neill won't attend the meeting, but his status as a
thoroughbred trainer will be in doubt as the board considers Imhoff's
punishment recommendations for the Santa Monica native who will turn 44
on the day of the meeting.