08/23/2007 12:00AM

Japanese racing starts to resume

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Racing will resume this weekend at three Japan Racing Association tracks as the racing industry in Japan continues to fight against an outbreak of equine influenza. Six cards at Sapporo, Niigata, and Kokura will be conducted after a similar schedule had been lost last weekend.

Only horses who have tested negative during tests conducted on Monday and Tuesday will be allowed to run this weekend. Those tests revealed that 9 percent of 2,012 horses tested showed up positive. There are 4,235 horses stabled at JRA facilities across the country.

The problem, howver, is not confined to the Japan Racing Association. The National Association of Racing, which conducts lesser, mostly weekday dirt racing in Japan, lost 10 of its 21 meetings this week for the same reason. Kanazawa, which had to cancel last Sunday and Monday, has again cancelled the same two days this week.

The problem, however, is not confined to the JRA. The National Association of Racing, which conducts lesser, mostly weekday dirt racing in Japan, lost 10 of its 21 meetings this week for the same reason. Kanazawa, which had to cancel last Sunday and Monday, has again cancelled the same two days this week.

The outbreak has also put an end to Meisho Samson's tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The winner of last year's Japanese Derby and this year's Spring Tenno Sho, he has tested positive for equine influenza, and while he has not yet having exhibited any symptoms of the disease, it has been decided not to ship him to France.

Meanwhile, this year's Japanese Derby winner, the filly Vodka, has suffered a minor injury which will prevent her from running in the Arc as well.