Thursday, May 24, 2012
AMERICA'S BEST RACING Thoroughbred Notebook
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Doug O'Neill
This Week
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From the Grandstand
In the News
In the Blogosphere
Weekend Stakes Races
Racing to History
The Preakness dominates national and global trending following I’ll Have Another’s breathtaking victory in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
I’ll Have Another’s jockey Mario Gutierrez is ranked #2 on ESPN’s Cross-Sport Power Rakings
I’ll Have Another gallops into the limelight after his Preakness win and looks to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. (Image courtesy of Penelope P. Miller)
Image courtesy of

Doug O’Neill is the trainer of I’ll Have Another, who has captured the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and will vie for Triple Crown glory in the June 9 Belmont Stakes.

A native of Michigan, the fun-loving O’Neill got his start working for California trainer Jude Feld. He opened his own stable in 1994 when he was in his mid-20s, and his barn's first major stakes winner was Classy Cara, who finished first in the 2000 Fantasy Stakes and Honeymoon Handicap. In August 2004 at Del Mar, O'Neill was involved in one of the greatest claims in racing history with Lava Man. Claimed for $50,000, the gelding was retired four years later after earning more than $5 million. In 2006, Lava Man swept California's three top races for older horses, the Santa Anita Handicap, the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Pacific Classic. Lava Man currently serves as I’ll Have Another’s stable pony and will be accompanying the Triple Crown aspirant in the Belmont Stakes post parade.

Name:  Doug O’Neill

Birthplace: Dearborn, MI

Most influential person in my career: Jude Feld

My out-of-the-box idea for Thoroughbred Racing: More backstage all-access passes to the fans

My favorite racetrack: Santa Anita

My fantasy job: Horse trainer

What I like most about my job: The horses and the atmosphere of being around people who share the same passion

Other sports/teams I follow: Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons

My Heroes: My mom and Dr. Arthur Verge

What about me would surprise those who know me: That I’ve actually eaten a vegetable.

My favorite athletes of all-time: Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Secretariat

Most treasured possession/memento: My dad’s very first bible from when he was in the seminary

A Pet Peeve: Negativity

What book(s) I am reading or have recently read: Pyramid of Success by John Wooden

Favorite Magazines: Success and The Blood-Horse

Favorite websites I visit daily/weekly:  ESPN, DRF

Gadget I cannot live without: My iPhone

Hobbies away from Thoroughbred Racing: Hanging out with my wife and kids

Last concert I attended: Sting

Favorite foods: Chicken

What I drive: Ford Explorer

If I could be a guest on any TV talk show it would be: Jimmy Fallon

If I could appear on any television show it would be: “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

If I could be a guest on any talk radio show it would be: Howard Stern

If I could be on stage with I would play what instrument: Bass guitar

Favorite Musician/Band: Bruce Springsteen

Favorite Actor: Will Farrell

Newspaper I read daily: LA Times

I’d like to have dinner with: Abe Lincoln, Lou Holtz, John Wooden

Best racetrack food can be found at: Del Mar

Accomplishment I am most proud of: Winning the Kentucky Derby

My philosophy on life: Respect EVERYONE and know that there is something to learn from EVERYONE

Favorite quote or motto: See the good in everything

Things I collect: Hair out of my shower drain

Celebrity/prominent personality friends include: Neil Everett (ESPN)

Favorite authors: Lou Holtz, John Wooden

Favorite animal other than a horse: Pegasus

What actor would play me in a movie: Brad Pitt on steroids

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Detroit Red Wings play-off game

What historical figure do you most identify with: Jim Rohn

What living person do you most admire: Dr. Arthur Verge

Twitter Handle: @DougOneill1

People I follow on Twitter: Bruce Springsteen, Counting Crows, Santa Anita

No. 1 Bucket List Item: Win the Triple Crown!!!

I’ll Have Another outduels Bodemeister to take the Preakness Stakes and secure the first two legs of the Triple Crown. On to the Belmont on June 9! (Image courtesy of

WING'S WATCH top’s Eric Wing offers up insights on who he thinks are the Top 13 Triple Crown contenders. (Wing's Watch PDF)

Steve Cauthen, quoted by Rich Rosenblatt of the Associated Press, on I’ll Have Another, who will attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since the Cauthen-piloted Affirmed in 1978:
"This horse looks like he's got that same fighting spirit as Affirmed. He likes a game, and he wants to win, and he can't wait to get another battle. He thrives on it and to me that's why, more than anything, he's got a good chance."

Trainer Doug O’Neill on whether his wife, who is known for being allergic to horses, is allergic to I’ll Have Another?
“It's amazing.  The large checks seem to keep her from itching and coughing.”

Jockey Mario Gutierrez on what it’s like aboard I’ll Have Another:
“Riding I’ll Have Another is like riding a very expensive American sports car with a lot of gears.”

Trainer Dale Romans on Dullahan’s chances in the Belmont Stakes:
“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I really like my horse. He has been training really well and we missed the Preakness, so he’s going to be fresh. I think he’s going to run a big race.”


Watch the Preakness Stakes with Doug O’Neill and his family (

Excerpts from NTRA Media teleconference with Mario Gutierrez discussing I’ll Have Another and also his love for the fans in Vancouver (Vancouver

Post-Preakness interview with J. Paul Reddam (

HorsePlayerNow’s Joe Kristufek and Jeremy Plonk explain how to play a Pick Six (HorsePlayerNow’s YouTube channel)

Secretariat’s birthplace up for auction (

I’ll Have Another wins the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes (


I’ll Have Another prepares for a Triple Crown try (

I’ll Have Another takes aim at the Triple Crown (

I’ll Have Another set to go for Triple Crown in Belmont Stakes (

I’ll Have Another’s trainer lets loose as horse takes Preakness (USA

Spellbound by a fast horse (The Globe and

I'll Have Another, like any great athlete, responds to pressure (

Why I’ll Have Another hasn’t passed toughest test (

I’ll Have Another is great for horse racing (

I’ll Have Another a 20,000 – 1 shot? (

I’ll Have Another unanimous top choice in NTRA’s 3-Year-Old poll (

Gutierrez bids for the first Triple Crown since 1978 (

Gutierrez is riding with fame and modesty (

Mario Gutierrez riding for family, Canadian friends (

Mario Gutierrez might be the jockey to end horse racing's Triple Crown drought (

Mario Gutierrez poised to be first Triple Crown winner since 1978 (

ESPN’s Cross-Sport power rankings: Mario Gutierrez ranked #2 behind Kevin Durant (

Glen Todd helped mentor Mario Gutierrez into horse racing history (

Triple Crown winning jockey Steve Cauthen likes I’ll Have Another’s Triple chances (Washington

Gary Stevens on I’ll Have Another’s chances of winning the Triple Crown (

Reddam’s father revels in race for Triple Crown glory (The Windsor

The most frustrating two minutes in sports (

Rosie Napravnik to ride Five Sixteen in Belmont Stakes (

Velazquez to replace Leparoux aboard Union Rags (Daily Racing Form)

Castellano will ride Dullahan in the Belmont Stakes (The Blood-Horse)

Bodemeister to target Haskell; Creative Cause may try turf (Daily Racing Form)

Batch of Belmont Stakes reserved seats sell out online within five minutes (Thoroughbred

Triple Crown spurs Belmont prices, but there are limits (

Belmont Stakes related charity events to benefit Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation and BEST (

Handle, attendance up at Pimlico (The Handicapper’s

Maryland Jockey Club’s Tom Chuckas 'couldn't be happier' about Preakness 2012 (The Baltimore

Maryland has trouble holding its top jockeys as New York and California call (

Cuomo announces NYRA Board reorganization (The Blood-Horse)

NY racing is now Cuomo’s problem (

Mr. Commons heads 11 in American Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park (The Blood-Horse)

Alternation sets sights on Stephen Foster Handicap (Daily Racing Form)

NTRA Track Superintendents’ and Arena Managers’ field day at Woodbine starts June 10 (Paulick

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale rallies in second session to close with gains (Thoroughbred

Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack: Thoroughbred racing industry at a crossroads (Democrat and

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas criticizers behavior of fellow trainers (

Virginia property, birthplace of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, sold at auction (The

Turfway donates $4,000 to Second Stride (The Paulick

DeDomenico honored by American Heart Association (Thoroughbred

Frankel ranked as world’s best for at least the last 25 years (


I’ll Have Another arrives at Belmont on Cloud 9 (

The best Preakness that could have happened, happened (

Who would have thought? (

Triple Crown winner or not, horse racing will be just fine (

First, Twitter; then the Triple Crown (The New York

Danger: Triple Crown buster – Union Rags (

Top Five Triple Crown near misses (

Is I’ll Have Another the best horse in America? (

A Triple Crown for 2012? (

Will I’ll Have Another sweep the Triple Crown? (

Triple Crown a surprising development (The

On the perils of trying to simultaneously follow the Triple Crown and the New York Rangers (

I’ll Have Another looks to make history at Belmont Park (Thoroughbred Greats)


Treasure Island will host its Wager to Win VII tournament on Sunday, June 10.  Three NHC berths and up to $30,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.  Don’t miss out on your chance to qualify at the Treasure Island, the home of NHC 14.  Call TI Casino Marketing at 800.944.3777 to reserve your spot today.  

Click here to view the current Daily Racing Form NHC Tour schedule and to see a list of current NHC 14 qualifiers.

Mark McGuire (Newbury Park, CA) continues to top the Daily Racing Form NHC Tour overall and first-half Leader Boards.  Click here to view the overall full Leader Board standings.

Player Profile



Joel Einhorn.jpg  

Dave Bester
Dave is pictured here with 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winning jockey, Mario Gutierrez.  Dave participated in NHC 13 and is working hard to get back to Vegas to participate in NHC 14.  His next scheduled contest is at Emerald Downs in June.  Good luck, Dave!

Click here to read Dave's complete NHC Tour player biography.

May 24, 1905: Harry Payne Whitney’s Tanya became the second  filly to win the Belmont Stakes. Ruthless was the first filly to win the Belmont, in 1867, and Rags to Riches accomplished the feat in 2007. Whitney also won the Kentucky Derby with a filly, Regret, in 1915.

May 24, 1977: At odds of 13-1, Louis and Patrice Wolfson’s two-year-old colt Affirmed won his maiden race by 4 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park, ridden by jockey Bernie Gonzalez.

May 25, 1991: Jockey Steve Cauthen won his fourth European derby, the Derby Italiano, with Hailsham, trained by Clive Brittain. Cauthen has also won the Epsom Derby twice, the Irish Derby and the French Derby, in addition to his Kentucky Derby win with Affirmed.

May 27, 1823: A $20,000 match race between American Eclipse (representing The North) and Henry (representing The South) was held at Union Course, Long Island. Eclipse won in two-of-three heats, after his original jockey, William Crafts, was replaced by Samuel Purdy before the second heat. The race, witnessed by 60,000 spectators, was the first to have been timed by split-second chronometers, which were imported for the event.

May 27, 1878: The entire field of Preakness Stakes horses—three—was owned by a single family, the brothers George and Pierre Lorillard. George’s horses finished first and third.

May 27, 1882: Trainer Robert Walden won his fifth consecutive Preakness Stakes, with Vanguard. Walden won a total of seven Preaknesses, a record for a trainer.

May 27, 1981: Bill Shoemaker became the first jockey in racing history to win 8,000 races when he rode War Allied to victory in the first race at Hollywood Park.

May 27, 1985: Under jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., odds-on favorite Spend a Buck defeated Creme Fraiche by a neck to win the Jersey Derby and earn $2.6 million, the largest single purse in American racing history. Two million dollars of the purse came from a bonus to Spend a Buck for winning the Cherry Hill Mile, the Garden State Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and the Jersey Derby. Angel Cordero Jr., the regular rider of Spend a Buck, was committed to ride Track Barron in the Metropolitan Handicap in New York on the same day and was persuaded to give up his mount in the Jersey Derby. Track Barron finished third in the Metropolitan, earning $40,620.

May 28, 1997: Visa USA and Triple Crown Productions announced that they had increased the bonus for winning the Triple Crown to a total of $5 million.

May 28, 2000: Jockey Edgar Prado registered his 4,000th career victory aboard Thunder Breeze in the second race at Belmont Park.

May 29, 1897: Scottish Chieftain, owned by Marcus Daly, became the only Montana bred to win the Belmont Stakes.

May 29, 1907: Colin began his undefeated career, breaking his maiden by two lengths at Belmont Park.

May 29, 1946: Two-year-old fillies Chakoora and Uleta became the first Thoroughbreds to complete a transcontinental flight. They were flown from New York to Inglewood, Calif., by the American Air Express Corporation, for a 2,446-mile trip that lasted 20 hours due to adverse weather conditions.

May 30, 1903: Flocarline became the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes.

May 30, 1908: Jockey Joe Notter misjudged the finish of the Belmont Stakes and eased up on his mount, Colin, whose career record to that point was 13-for-13. Notter barely recovered from his mistake to hold off the drive of Fair Play, who came within a head of defeating Colin. When he retired, Colin’s record stood at 15 wins in as many starts.

May 30, 1936: Omaha, the Triple Crown winner of 1935, won the Queens Plate at Kempton Park, England, for owner William Woodward.

May 30, 1941: Hollywood Park introduced the “vibrationless camera,” developed by Hollywood cameraman Lorenzo del Ricio. Eight patrol judges with the cameras, which were attached to their binoculars, were stationed at intervals around the track. Jockey Nunzio Pariso was the camera’s first victim—he was shown on film crowding a rival on the far turn.

May 30, 1969: Jockey Patricia Barton won her first career race, at Pikes Peak.

May 31, 1969: Racing returned to Pennsylvania when Liberty Bell racetrack opened, near Philadelphia. The state had not had legal racing since 1802 and became the 30th state to adopt parimutuel wagering.
May 31, 2001: Jockey Pat Day became just the third jockey in history to win 8,000 races, hitting the milestone by winning the sixth race at Churchill Downs aboard Camden Park. Day joined Laffit Pincay Jr. and Bill Shoemaker in the 8,000 club. 

June 1, 1881: Pierre Lorillard’s Iroquois became the first American-owned and -bred horse to win a European classic race when he won the Epsom Derby under one of England’s greatest riders, Fred Archer. Iroquois won seven of nine starts as a three-year-old, including England’s St. Leger Stakes.

June 1, 1946: Assault became the seventh horse to win the Triple Crown, with a victory in the Belmont Stakes.

June 1, 1973: In his final tuneup for the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown, Secretariat went six furlongs in 1:11 3/5, doing the first three furlongs in :35 2/5 and five furlongs in :59.

June 1, 1978: In his first start ever on the turf, eventual four-time champion grass horse John Henry won a $35,000, 1 1/16-mile claiming race by 14 lengths at Belmont Park. John Henry was voted champion turf horse for the years 1980-81 and 1983-84.

June 1, 1999: Mr. Prospector, the most influential sire of his generation, died in his stall at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. He was 29.

June 2, 1943: Trainer Hirsch Jacobs claimed two-year-old Stymie for $1,500. By the end of 1947, Stymie had become the world’s leading money-winning Thoroughbred, with earnings of $816,060 and 22 stakes victories.

June 2, 1947: After a six-year layoff, 13-year-old Honey Cloud won the second race at Aqueduct. His jockey, Clarence Minner, had not ridden in 10 years.

June 2, 2005: Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze recorded his 9,000th career victory aboard Queen of the Hunt in the eighth race at Golden Gate Fields.

June 3, 1943: To further the war effort, the Navy took over Tanforan racetrack and used it as a training base.

June 3, 2004: Smarty Jones became the first horseracing figure to make the cover of ESPN The Magazine.

June 4, 1870: Ed Brown became the first African-American jockey to win the Belmont Stakes, with Kingfisher.

June 4, 1913: At odds of 100-1, Aboyeur became the first horse to win the Epsom Derby by an on-course disqualification after Craganour, who won by a head, was disqualified for bumping. During the race, a suffragette had rushed onto the track and pulled down the King’s horse, Anmer. The suffragette, Emily Davison, died of a fractured skull.

June 4, 1941: Three days before his race in the Belmont Stakes, which would complete his Triple Crown, Whirlaway worked 1 1/4 miles in 2:02 2/5.

June 4, 2005: Jockey Eddie Castro set a North American record for most wins by a jockey in a single day at one racetrack by winning nine races on the 13-race card at Miami’s Calder Race Course.

June 5, 1884: James McLaughlin became the first jockey to ride three consecutive Belmont Stakes winners, when he rode Panique to victory. He previously won with George Kinney (1883) and Forester (1882). McLaughlin repeated his feat in 1886-88, with each of his wins aboard horses owned by the Dwyer brothers. McLaughlin’s triple was matched by jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. in 1984.

June 5, 1901: William C. Whitney’s Volodyovski won the Epsom Derby, making him the second American owner (after Pierre Lorillard in 1881) to have won the race. Whitney leased the English-bred horse for the express purpose of winning at Epsom. Whitney’s trainer, John Huggins, was the first American to train an Epsom Derby winner.

June 5, 1937: War Admiral became the fourth winner of the Triple Crown, with a win in the Belmont Stakes.

June 5, 1943: Count Fleet ended his racing career by winning the Belmont Stakes by 25 lengths. He was the sixth American Triple Crown winner. Count Fleet was such a heavy favorite for the race, going off at odds of 1-20, that no place or show wagering was allowed.

June 5, 1969: Jockey Mary Bacon won her first race, at Finger Lakes. Among apprentices, she finished 23rd in the races-won category that year, with 55 victories in 396 starts and purses of $91,642.  Bacon was the first female to join the list of leading apprentices.

June 5, 1985: Steve Cauthen won the Epsom Derby aboard Slip Anchor and became the only American jockey to win both the English and Kentucky Derbies. Cauthen had previously ridden Affirmed to victory in the 1978 Kentucky Derby.

June 5, 1993: Julie Krone became the first female rider to win a Triple Crown race when she won the Belmont Stakes with Colonial Affair.

June 5, 1999: Charismatic lost his bid to become the 12th Triple Crown winner when he fractured his left front cannon bone and sesamoid while finishing third to Lemon Drop Kid in the Belmont Stakes.
June 5, 2004: Smarty Jones’s quest to become horseracing’s 12th Triple Crown winner ended when he was upset by 36-1 longshot Birdstone by one length before a record crowd of 120,139. NBC Sports’ telecast of the Belmont was the highest rated program of any kind for the week.
June 5, 2010: Mandurah, a 6-year-old gelding, set a new world record for a mile on the turf at Monmouth Park. Mandurah completed the distance in 1:31.23, beating the 1:31.41 mark set by Mister Light on January 3, 2005, at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Grant Forster and ridden by Alex Solis, Mandurah set the record while winning a $50,000 starter allowance race. 

June 6, 1919: Man o’ War won his first race ever, a five-furlong contest over a straightaway at Belmont Park.  He won by six lengths, running the distance in 59 seconds, and went off at odds of 3-5. In each of his 20 subsequent races, Man o’ War was the odds-on favorite.

June 6, 1972: In preparation for his colt’s July 4 racing debut, trainer Lucien Laurin put blinkers on two-year-old Secretariat for the first time. Secretariat responded by working a half-mile at Belmont Park in :47 3/5, the fastest time he had ever worked up to that date.

June 6, 1987: Bet Twice became the first horse to receive a Triple Crown bonus after winning the Belmont Stakes over rival Alysheba. He earned $1 million in addition to the first-place money.

June 6, 1992: Jockey Carl Gambardella won his 6,000th career victory, aboard Nip of Gin, at Rockingham Park.

June 6, 1998: Real Quiet was denied the Triple Crown when Victory Gallop edged him at the wire in the Belmont Stakes before an audience of 80,162. The crowd was the second-largest in the track’s history and just shy of the mark set in 1971 when Canonero II failed in his Triple Crown bid before 82,694 spectators.  Total handle on the Belmont Day card was a record of $55,613,482.


Sheepshead Bay Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $200,000, Grade II, 1 3-8M (T), Belmont Park

American Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Betfair Hollywood Park

Arlington Matron Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-8M, Arlington Park

Eclipse Stakes, 4&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Woodbine

My Juliet Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, 6F, Parx Racing

Arlington Classic, 3yo, $125,000, 1 1-16M (T), Arlington Park

Louisville Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1-2M (T), Churchill Downs

Skip Away Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1-16M, Monmouth Park

Connaught Cup Stakes, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 7F (T), Woodbine

Monmouth Beach Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1M 70 yds. (T), Monmouth Park

Metropolitan Handicap, 3&up, $750,000, Grade I, 1M, Belmont Park

Ogden Phipps Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $400,000, Grade I, 1 1-16M (T), Belmont Park

Acorn Stakes, 3yo fillies, $300,000, Grade I, 1M, Belmont Park

Lone Star Park Handicap, 3&up, $300,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie

Gamely Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $250,000, Grade I, 1 1-8M (T), Betfair Hollywood Park

Sands Point Stakes, 3yo fillies, $200,000, Grade II, 1 1-16M (T), Belmont Park

Berkeley Handicap, 4&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Golden Gate Fields

Los Angeles Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Betfair Hollywood Park

Violet Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1-16M (T), Monmouth Park

Memorial Day Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1-16M, Calder