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Two Mahoning Valley Barns Quarantined Due to Strangles

Two barns at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course are under quarantine for confirmed cases of strangles, with one barn at the Youngstown, Ohio, track potentially nearing the end of its quarantine, according to a track executive.

Strangles is a bacterial infection of the equine upper respiratory tract that can be spread by horse-to-horse contact or by humans, tack, buckets, and other environmental factors. Cases occasionally occur at racetracks, farms and training centers, with some examples taking place in Central Kentucky last April. 

“Barn 7 is nearing the end of its quarantine and undergoing retesting today. Should the results return all negative, the quarantine on Barn 7 will be lifted,” Elizabeth Rogers, vice president of racing at Mahoning Valley, wrote in an email to BloodHorse. “Barn 4 is a new quarantine. The initial suspect and positive horses have been removed from the grounds and are quarantining off property. The remaining horses in the barn are being tested today to identify any other positives. We anticipate results of both Barn 7 and Barn 4 to return late Monday and will determine next steps based on those results.”

Symptoms of strangles can include fever, nasal discharge, cough, and swollen lymph nodes. Some horses only show mild symptoms but can still prove contagious.

Full recovery of uncomplicated cases of strangles is favorable but usually takes three to six weeks.

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“Mahoning is working with the horsemen, our regulators, and experts in the industry to ensure we are taking all necessary precautions to protect the general horse population and have notified regulatory veterinarians in neighboring racing jurisdictions of the quarantine,” Rogers continued. “While our stable gate remains open, we are directing all race-and-go traffic to the receiving barn only and advising horsemen to check in with their travel destination prior to shipping.”

In response to the quarantines, Turfway Park director of racing and racing secretary Tyler Picklesimer posted on social media Friday that until further notice, horses from Mahoning Valley will not be allowed to ship to a Kentucky track or training center. Additionally, horses will not be allowed to travel from Turfway to Mahoning Valley and return to Turfway

It is common for neighboring tracks to implement such safety protocols amid cases of infectious diseases.


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