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Mystery illness at Caymanas Park

Published:Wednesday | February 26, 2020 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Racing action at Caymanas Parl

A mystery illness affecting some horses at Caymanas Park is unlikely to force the postponement of the Ash Wednesday race card today. That's the word from senior Jamaica Racing Commission veterinarian Dr St Aubyn Bartlett.     Bartlett told The Gleaner today that there were horses not taking feed, while some were down with fever. 
"There are a few horses that are spiking temperature," he said. "We are not sure what is the cause, but one thing that is common is that they will eat grass, they will eat hay and drink water, but they are not into the feed, the pellet feed that is given to them, they smell it and say no. 
"We need more testing and examination of the horses. We are not sure if it is the feed. Some are having a temperature, but for the most part, the temperatures are not extremely high, only a few horses.
"There are over 1,100 horses at the track and I have been going through the track and I have not come across 50 horses that are affected. Those that are affected will be taken out of the race meet for [Wednesday]. But I see no reason why racing shouldn't be on," he said.
He also dispelled rumours that SUPREME SOUL, who returned from the USA recently after a month in quarantine, may have started the spread of a virus.
"There is nothing to verify that story, SUPREME SOUL was quarantined all the time while he was in Florida (for the Caribbean Classic)," Bartlett said. "SUPREME SOUL had several tests that were done and everything was clean. He came back to Jamaica and hasn't mixed with the horses at the track, except for those in his immediate vicinity."