Strangles outbreak closes New York horse track

Mar 27, 2012
By staff
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. — A strangles outbreak forced the closure of Saratoga Raceway until April 11, according to a recent announcement from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

Equine distemper was confirmed in several horses at the track on March 22. The racetrack immediately began monitoring horses, says Board Chairman John D. Sabini. No horses have died as a result of the outbreak. While Strangles is considered a highly contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract, it is not inherently life threatening, the board says.

The board approved a request to cancel live racing at the track until April 11 after consulting with track management, reports Dr. David Smith, state veterinarian and director of Animal Industry at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Veterinarians will continue monitoring and isolating any infected horses at the track, he says.

All missed race dates will be made up at a later date, the board reports.