At the races

Equine Herpes Virus seminar at Charles Town

Equine Herpes Virus seminar at Charles Town

March 19, 2006

The Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Virginia HBPA are sponsoring a seminar Monday at Tailgaters Restaurant near Charles Town.

"The presentation will be 'The Herpes Virus - understanding and preventing it,'" said Charles Town HBPA spokesperson Patti Evans. "Dr. Reid McLellan from the national HBPA will make a presentation and Dr. Keith Berkeley from the Valley Equine Clinic will add views on 'Preventive Vaccinations.'"

The Herpes Virus has been in the news this year - affecting thoroughbreds throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Maryland was the state most affected, but numerous other racetracks - including Charles Town Races & Slots - had quarantines in place. At one time or another over the last three months, horses were not allowed to leave their own racetracks to compete at another. If they did, they were not allowed to return to their home track.

"The response to Monday's seminar has been good," Evans said. "The session is restricted to owners and trainers."


McLellan is a longtime professional horseman and educator - having received his B.S. degree in animal science from Louisiana State University and his M.S. in animal science and Ph.D. in animal breeding and genetics from Oklahoma State University.

Berkeley attended Clemson University and Tuskegee University, where he received his D.V.M. degree. He has been at Valley Equine Associates since 1984 and is now a managing partner. Berkeley's areas of interest are lameness, internal medicine, reproduction and business management.

According to Evans, the dinner starts at 6:30 p.m, followed by the seminar at 7:30. For additional information, call 304-725-1535.

Hurricane relief efforts

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited announced disbursements totaling $483,465 from the NTRA Charities - Racing to the Rescue Fund to provide financial relief to members of the horse racing and breeding community affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

The disbursement benefits the National HBPA Foundation aiding Louisiana horsemen; Churchill Downs Foundation aiding Fair Grounds staff and other employees of Churchill Downs Incorporated affected by the hurricanes; Canadian Red Cross and American Red Cross for "first response" efforts in affected Gulf Coast states; AAEP Foundation aiding equine rescue and recovery operations; and Thoroughbred Charities of America for aid to horsemen in Gulf Coast states.

"We are extremely grateful to all the members of our industry and our fans for stepping up to assist members of the Gulf Coast horse communities and their animals in their time of need," said NTRA Commissioner and Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr.

Mutuel admiration

After the first week of betting in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2006 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, racing fans across North America threw their strongest support to "all others" rather than back any of the individual horses listed among the pool's individual betting interests.

The mutuel field, which includes all 3-year-old thoroughbreds other than the 22 individual horses in Pool 2, closed as a strong 3-1 favorite.

After that, support was spread widely among the individual 3-year-olds, with Brother Derek and Bluegrass Cat gaining the most attention.

A successful $2 wager on the mutuel field would return $8.40 following the 132nd running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby on May 6.

A victory by Brother Derek would return $22.60 and a winning ticket on Bluegrass Cat would be worth $25.

Wagering is available at Charles Town and Off-Track Betting Parlors in Chambersburg, Pa., and Urbana, Md.

The third and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool is set for April 6-9.

Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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