The Six Furlong Drill - Doug O'Neill

Out of the gate: The public and press seem to have a love/hate relationship with Doug O’Neil. How do you deal with it? “That’s the case, for sure. But it’s really no different than in life, some people like you and some don’t. How to I deal with it? By having a love of the game and my friends and family around me when things get tough.”

The first quarter:Do you prefer the new claiming rule, the old claiming rule or something in between? “I actually like the new claiming rule and I think the intention was great. There is a proposal out there to add a box you can check that you get the horse regardless, and I think that will make the rule perfect. There are times when you put in a claim and want the horse, even if you know they have some issues.”

The half-mile: Would you rather have Laffit Pincay Jr’s hair, Jeff Mullin’s physique or D. Wayne Lukas’ wardrobe? Having been follicully challenged most of my adult life, I have to go with Laffit’s hair. Imagine at his age he still has rock star hair.

The eighth pole: If you could reverse one photo finish in your life, what would it be? “One doesn’t immediately pop out at me with horses I’ve trained, so it probably would have been three years ago at Del Mar when four of us put in a Pick Six ticket. We won the first race, got beat by a nose with a longshot in the second and then won the next four. Nobody had it, so I’m guessing we would have hit for $200,000.”

The sixteenth pole: Do you actually call him Mr. Reddam when it’s just you and Paul? “I did at first, but after about 10 times of him telling me Mr. Reddam was his father, I started calling him Paul.”

The finish line: If you were the czar of racing, what is the first thing you would change? “I would try to work out some way to get players a higher payoff when they make bets on-track, as opposed to through an ADW. I think we need something along those lines.”