Trainer Bios

Doug O’Neill

Born: May 24, 1968 in Dearborn, Mich.

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 9

Stakes Wins: 7

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 2002 Hollywood Gold Cup with Sky Jack

First Stakes Win: 1996 CTBA Marion at Fairplex with Tanks Forthemusic

First Graded Stakes Win: 2000 Fantasy (G2) at Oaklawn with Classy Cara

First Career Win: April 28, 1989 at Golden Gate with Franc Prince

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass


Year

Horse

Finish

2018

Blended Citizen

4th

2018

Arawak

14th

2017

Irap

Won

2007

Great Hunter

5th

At Keeneland


Won the 2017 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) with 31-1 longshot Irap, who became the first maiden to win the race.

Earned his first win during the 2006 Fall Meet when Great Hunter took the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1). His stable of horses in training at Keeneland at that time included future Racing Hall of Famer Lava Man. 

Has two wins in the Darley Alcibiades (G1): Wickedly Perfect (2010) and Gomo (2015).

Other stakes wins: 2013 Commonwealth (G3) with Handsome Mike and 2015 Marathon (G2) with Bail Out Bobby and Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) with Nyquist.

Nyquist, the undefeated champion 2-year-old male, trained at Keeneland in April 2016 following his win in the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) and before his victory in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Career


North American career earnings exceed $122 million with 2,271 wins through June 26, 2018.

Triple Crown wins (3):Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another (2012) and Nyquist (2016); Preakness with I’ll Have Another (2012).

Breeders’ Cup wins (5): Juvenile with Stevie Wonderboy (2005) and Nyquist (2015); 2006 Sprint with Thor’s Echo, 2007 Filly and Mare Sprint with Maryfield; 2013 Dirt Mile with Goldencents.

2006 was career-best season by earnings with $11,251,656, ranking him second among leading trainers in North America.

Trained Lava Man, the former claimer who earned more than $5 million and is now a beloved lead pony for O’Neill at his Santa Anita base. Lava Man is called “Coach” because of his ability to seemingly mentor young horses in training.

Background


As a youngster, Doug accompanied his father, brother Dennis and their late brother to Santa Anita shortly after the family moved from the Midwest. Doug recalls that his first trip to Santa Anita was love at first sight.

After high school, Doug went to work at the track, beginning as a hot walker and climbing the ladder while working for trainers Jude Feld, Hector Palma and Doug Peterson. He opened his own stable in 1994 when he was in his mid-20s.

Dennis O’Neill is a successful bloodstock agent credited with picking many future stars for his brother’s training operation.