When I’ll Have Another was retired the day before the Belmont Stakes earlier this month because of tendinitis, horse racing enthusiasts were extremely disappointed. After winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (in a photo finish), I’ll Have Another had a shot at the coveted Triple Crown. While the horse’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, was likely devastated when he got the news that I’ll Have Another could no longer race, at least he had $20,000 to help ease the pain.
Back in February, one day before I’ll Have Another’s 2012 debut and three months before the Kentucky Derby, O’Neill wagered $100 on his own horse to win the race. Since I’ll Have Another was far from a household name at that time, the odds at Lucky’s Race and Sports Book in Nevada were 200-1. O’Neill thought he had a winner, so he went with his gut and wound up $20,000 richer because of it.
However, O’Neill is facing a fine of $15,000 in California for an elevated carbon dioxide violation — his third in the state — along with a 45-day suspension starting July 1. At least his gut instinct may have saved him from having to pay the fine out of pocket.
O’Neill cashed the ticket in person Monday at the Lucky’s betting parlor inside the Primm Valley Resort and Casino at the Nevada-California state line. O’Neill posed for pictures with surprised patrons and signed the winning ticket (pictured), which Lucky’s marketing director Dan Shaprio put out on Twitter.