03/01/2006 12:00AM

Initial herpes positive at Philly


A nasal swab from a horse who was euthanized Feb. 23 at Philadelphia Park initially tested positive for equine herpesvirus, the highly contagious disease that has disrupted racing and training schedules this year in Maryland and other Eastern states, according to reports.

The horse, a 3-year-old filly named Kari Oakie, was euthanized after suffering a fall during training hours with a suspected back injury, according to a report on the Blood-Horse website. Nasal swabs taken from the horse as a precautionary measure tested positive for herpesvirus, the report said, and additional tests have been ordered.

A horse can test positive for exposure to the virus without having the disease.

Philadelphia Park officials did not return several phone calls Wednesday.

Sal Sinatra, Philadelphia's director of racing, told the Blood-Horse that test results should be available Thursday. He said that all the horses stabled at the barn in which Kari Oakie had been stabled were prohibited from training or racing.