03/22/2005 1:00AM

Tests for strangles in Florida


Tests are being conducted on several horses stabled at the Palm Meadows, Fla., training center who have shown symptoms of strangles, a highly contagious disease that has already been confirmed in several horses stabled at the Trackside training center in Louisville., Ky. The testing was confirmed Tuesday by Scott Savin, Gulfstream Park's president and general manager.

"The veterinarian for one of the trainers stabled at Palm Meadows who has horses in Kentucky with strangles is conducting the tests for precautionary reasons," said Savin. "Right now we have no confirmed cases of the disease in south Florida."

Symptoms of strangles includes fever, a running nose, and swollen glands. Savin declined to name the trainer of the horses in question.

Savin said Gulfstream began taking precautions of its own on Monday. Those included segregating shippers from Palm Meadows, Calder, and local farms in the receiving barn and having the grooms, not the horse identifier, flip the lips of horses coming into the paddock before each race.