08/31/2001 12:00AM

Mutafaweq to be quarantined


Mutafaweq will run in the Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 8, even though he will have to serve 48 hours in strict quarantine at a United States Department of Agriculture facility in Newburgh, New York.

The USDA has refused to rescind its quarantine regulation in time for either the Man o' War or the Garden City Handicap on Sept. 9. Therefore, after Mutafaweq arrives at Newark Airport late Saturday night, he must take a two-hour van ride to Newburgh, where his Godolphin handlers will be denied access to him until Tuesday morning, when he will be shipped to Belmont Park.

"The quarantine situation is unsatisfactory," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, "but we very much want to run Mutafaweq in the Man o' War. We also want to have him in North America as he could also run in either the Canadian International or the Turf Classic."

Mike Lakow, racing secretary at the New York Racing Association, said he hopes that the quarantine rule, instituted to prevent the spread of hoof and mouth disease into America, will be rescinded in time for the Turf Classic and the Flower Bowl Handicap on Sept. 29. The rule does not affect the Breeders' Cup, for which which foreign imports can serve quarantine at Belmont Park.