01/01/2010 1:00AM

Herpes reported at training center


A horse at the Evangeline Downs Training Center has reportedly tested positive for equine herpes, leading to a quarantine of the affected barn and shipping restrictions on all horses leaving the training center.

The infected horse is trained by Steve Asmussen, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which quoted Louisiana State Racing Commission executive director Charles Gardine. The commission offices were closed late this week for the New Year's holiday, and no one there could be reached for comment. Asmussen's barn is under quarantine, Gardiner said, and horses stabled there are being tested for the virus and must conduct their daily training after regular hours.

While horses in the Asmussen barn can't be shipped into other tracks now, the other horses at the training center, located in Carencro, can enter other Louisiana tracks as long as proof of a recent veterinary exam and a herpes vaccination are provided.

The training center provides a major source of entries for the ongoing meets at Fair Grounds and Delta Downs.

Fair Grounds had a herpes positive during it's 2008-2009 meeting, and two barns there were quarantined for several weeks.