12/23/2005 12:00AM

Turfway Park filly with herpes euthanized


A Turfway Park-based 3-year-old filly stricken with the equine herpes virus was euthanized at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Clinic in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, according to the filly's trainer, Chuck Simon. A Kentucky Department of Agriculture official said a quarantine of the 50-horse barn in which the filly was stabled at Turfway will likely continue for weeks.

In recent days, the filly had been suspected of having equine herpes, a contagious disease that causes upper respiratory problems and coordination loss. Test results on Friday confirmed the presence of the virus.

Simon said the decision to put down the filly, Coupe Aux Marrons, was made after the virus had spread into her brain. "What's so tough about this is that you have no control over it," he said.

Kentucky state veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout said agriculture department officials would continue to monitor Turfway Park horses over the next week to ensure there are no new cases of equine herpes before establishing a definitive protocol for the quarantined horses.

He said the protocol would likely be similar to what was established when several cases of equine herpes were discovered at Churchill Downs in May. There, quarantined horses had to clear several weekly tests and were unable to race or be shipped for a period of three weeks to a month. They were allowed to train separate from the general horse population about a week after the initial cases of equine herpes were discovered.

In addition to Simon, who has a 10-horse division of his stable at Turfway, trainers Tom Upton, Joanie Cook, Jeff Greenhill, David Pate, and Sonja Herman have horses stabled in quarantined barn, track officials said.