05/19/2005 11:00PM

Indiana to resume racing

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Indiana Downs officials planned to resume racing Friday night after canceling racing Thursday when the contagious equine disease strangles was found in horses stabled in its receiving barn.

Two horses believed to have the disease were removed from the grounds Thursday and transported to Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind., where tests confirmed the presence of strangles. Fifty-four other horses in the barn were then quarantined and evaluated. Four tested positive or were suspect for strangles, said Joe Gorajec, executive director of the Indiana Racing Commission.

Jon Schuster, general manager of Indiana Downs, said the presence of strangles is isolated to the receiving barn. To accommodate ship-in runners who would otherwise occupy the receiving barn, he said the track would allow access into other barns.

Strangles can be fatal, but its more common effects are fever, runny noses, and swollen glands. Several horses had it earlier this year at the Churchill Downs Trackside training facility, and later at Palm Meadows training center in Florida.

Gary Wilfert, a steward at Indiana Downs, said Friday that nine horses had been scratched on the evening's card, two because their trainers cited concerns about strangles.