01/01/2007 12:00AM

No Payson entries for Gulfstream opener


Gulfstream Park's racing office did not accept entries Monday for horses stabled at Payson Park, which is quarantined because of a case of equine herpes, for its opening-day card on Wednesday, and will not take any entries for horses stabled at the training facility until Saturday's program, racing secretary Dave Bailey said Monday.

Payson Park, located about 95 miles north of Gulfstream Park in Indiantown Gap, has been quarantined since Dec. 23, after a horse stabled at the training facility died from a confirmed case of the equine herpesvirus. The Florida Department of Agriculture has been monitoring the situation daily but has yet to say when the quarantine will end.

Bailey said he believes those restrictions will be lifted in time for the majority of horses stabled at Payson to race at Gulfstream on Saturday.

"I have it from a good source that the quarantine on all but two of the barns will be lifted Friday at 10 p.m.," Bailey said Monday. "And for that reason, barring any change in the status of the situation, we'll accept entries for Payson Park horses on Thursday for Saturday's card."

Bailey said only one race on Wednesday's opening-day program, the eighth for 3-year-old fillies, was affected by the quarantine.

"I lost three potential starters for the 3-year-old filly race going a mile on Wednesday," said Bailey. "Otherwise, everything considered, I thought the opening-day card turned out fine."

Bailey said 400 to 500 horses are stabled at Payson, compared with 1,360 at Calder, 1,200 at Palm Meadows, and the nearly 1,000 that will be on the grounds when the Gulfstream barn area fills to capacity within the next few days.

"We classify Payson along with Palm Beach Downs, which has maybe 200 horses, as farms when doing figures for the meet, and last year the total of all farm horses racing here amounted to only about 8 percent of our starters," Bailey said.

Track and health officials also were dealing with a herpes case at Golden Gate Fields, where a horse from the barn of Lloyd Mason tested positive for the equine herpesvirus on Thursday. Officials there were expecting to receive test results on horses stabled in and near the Mason barn from the animal hospital at the University of California-Davis on Tuesday.

Golden Gate, Bay Meadows, and Pleasanton were placed under quarantine on Friday for a minimum of 10 days. Horses based at Bay Meadows and Pleasanton are allowed to ship to Golden Gate, which is conducting a race meeting, but horses at the three tracks are not allowed to leave northern California. There have been no reports of equine herpesvirus at Bay Meadows or Pleasanton.

A horse trained by Mason raced at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, but as of Monday there were no indications the herpesvirus had spread there, according to Dr. Rick Arthur, the California Horse Racing Board's equine medical director.

The horse, Super Image, resided in trainer John Sadler's barn while at Santa Anita. The horses in Sadler's barn were having their temperatures taken twice a day, but none had spiked a fever, Arthur said. He said that horses who were in the stalls closest to Super Image would be tested on Tuesday "as a precautionary step to keep ahead of this."

There also are three horses who arrived at Santa Anita last week from Bay Meadows who were put in a separate isolation barn.

- additional reporting by Chuck Dybdal and Jay Privman