11/30/2009 12:00AM

Three barns under quarantine at Calder


MIAMI - Three barns at Calder Race Course have been placed under temporary quarantine awaiting the test results on a sick horse who displayed symptoms of a possible neurological disorder over the weekend.

The unidentified horse is trained by Bill White, perennial leading trainer at Calder. White has 42 horses stabled on the grounds spread among the three barns that have been quarantined. Other trainers housed in those barns include Phil Combest, Vinnie Blengs, and Roger Lauren.

According to racing secretary Mike Anifantis, the stricken horse is alive and has been taken to the University of Florida Equine Center for testing. He said doctors at the U of F lab have assured the track that results of those tests should be available no later than Tuesday.

"Right now we're doing this as a precautionary measure," said Anifantis. "Until the results of the tests are confirmed one way or another, horses in all three barns will not be allowed to race or train with the general population."

The main track closed early for the general population, at 9 a.m., on Monday after which horses from the three quarantined barns were allowed to train. That same schedule will hold for Tuesday and again Wednesday if the test results have not been received by that time.

"Right now everything depends on the results of the tests," said Anifantis. "If the horse is not positive for any contagious neurological disease, everything will return to normal immediately."

Racing resumes at Calder on Thursday.

The racing department has accepted entries from trainers in the quarantined barns through Saturday, although the horses will be scratched if the horse in question tests positive. The stewards scratched both horses White had entered on last Sunday's program on advice from the track veterinarian.

White won the 2009 Calder training title and is currently atop the standings with nine victories during the Tropical at Calder meet. which continues through Jan. 2.