02/25/2003 12:00AM

Second vet banned at Gulf


Philip Aleong - the Florida veterinarian who amputated a dead horse's leg on Feb. 3, sparking an investigation by state regulators - has been barred from practicing at Gulfstream Park and the Palm Meadows training facility, Gulfstream officials said on Tuesday.

Aleong is the second veterinarian that Gulfstream has barred as a result of the investigation. The first was Leonard Patrick. Both veterinarians work for trainer Mark Shuman and owner Michael Gill, who have dominated Gulfstream this winter, already setting a record for number of wins at the meet.

Scott Savin, the president of Gulfstream, would not comment on why Aleong was banned, except to say that the ban has been in effect since Sunday night. Aleong did not return a phone message left on his voice mail on Tuesday.

Patrick was banned for improperly storing medications, according to the track's director of security, Rick Buhrmaster. Patrick had already been placed on probation by Gulfstream for omitting information on his application to practice at the track.

Gulfstream and Palm Meadows are both owned by Magna Entertainment Corp.

Aleong and Patrick were searched by track officials on Feb. 10 in connection with the breakdown of Casual Conflict, a 9-year-old gelding trained by Shuman and owned by Gill who was euthanized after suffering a fatal injury to his right front leg. After the horse's death, Aleong amputated the leg without the approval of state regulators.

State regulators retrieved the leg from Aleong and sent it to a lab at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine for analysis. The report of the analysis, which includes a forensic examination and drug tests, has not yet been forwarded to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which is conducting the investigation.

Sarah Carey, a spokeswoman for the college, said on Monday that university faculty could not comment on the tests or the reports because they are part of a state investigation.

Aleong is based at Calder Race Course and continues to practice at the track, according to horsemen and the president of Calder, Ken Dunn.

Dunn said on Tuesday that Calder had no plans to bar Aleong from the grounds. Normally, Dunn said, tracks honor any rulings handed down by other tracks against racing licensees, but he said he had not seen any ruling against Aleong.

"At this point, we're not going to be arbitrary," Dunn said. "I've had no communication from Gulfstream about either one of these vets since the investigation was started."