Feb 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Livestock officials in Pakistan said yesterday that the H5N1 avian influenza virus hit chickens in the northwestern part of the country, the region where December outbreaks were linked to suspected human-to-human transmission of the virus and Pakistan’s first confirmed human case.Rafiq-ul-Usmani, a food and agriculture ministry official, said samples from a poultry farm near Abbottabad, in North-West Frontier province, were positive for the H5N1 virus and that culling at the farm had begun, Reuters reported yesterday.About 5,000 chickens have been culled at the farm, Ali Akber Kahn, a Mansehra district livestock minister, told Dawn, one of Pakistan’s English-language newspapers, yesterday. He said authorities sealed the area around the farm and were vaccinating poultry in other areas to control the spread of the virus.So far no workers at the farm had shown signs of infection, he told Dawn.Pakistan’s last outbreaks struck two commercial farms near Karachi , according to a Feb 4 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Elsewhere, government officials in Bangladesh said today that H5N1 outbreaks have spread to 43 of the nation’s 64 districts, according to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP). So far workers have culled about 800,000 birds, the report said.M.M. Kahn, a senior official with the Bangladesh Poultry Association, told AFP that the H5N1 outbreaks have shuttered at least 40% of the country’s 150,000 commercial farms and have put 500,000 people out of work.Yesterday workers began slaughtering 150,000 birds at a farm in a suburb of Dhaka, the capital, signifying the first outbreak in the city, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. Mohammad Salahuddin Ahmed, director of the country’s livestock ministry, said more than 100 workers were assisting with the cull. “We are very cautious so that the virus can’t spread to local neighborhoods,” he told the AP.The outbreak in Dhaka occurred at the Omega farm, according to media reports. Kahn told AFP that the Omega farm is known for its rigorous adherence to biosafety regulations and that an outbreak there shows the virus is out of control, despite assurances from the government.See also:OIE reports on 2008 Pakistan outbreaks
NEW International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Ranking for Men, presented by Nike, saw Guyana on the ranking board for the first time in the country’s rich basketball history.Guyana is now ranked 110 out of 213 national teams, after having never been ranked before and was considered to be one of the unranked countries within FIBA for the past 56 years.Both Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) president, Nigel Hinds, and GABF International General Secretary and CBC Vice President, Patrick Haynes, are quite pleased that the National Senior Men’s Team was able to capture such a high worldwide ranking, and are very optimistic that the team will be ranked even higher after next year’s FIBA AmeriCup Caribbean Pre-Qualifier, which will be hosted by Suriname in June 2018.The Guyana Men’s National team placed 5th in the 2014 CBC Championships in Tortola, BVI, which was its best performance in this decade.Caribbean countries ranked higher in the list include: (15) Puerto Rico, (17) Dominican Republic, (51) Virgin Islands, (59) Bahamas, (60) Cuba, (68) Jamaica, (76) Antigua and Barbuda , (92) British Virgin Islands, (97) Barbados, (100) St. Vincent and the Grenadines, (109) Bermuda, while Guyana(110) outranked Suriname (118), Cayman Islands(121) and Trinidad and Tobago (143).The Nigel Hinds-headed administration was able to source the required funds to get Guyana’s overseas athletes to these important qualifying championships and being able to be ranked for the first time ever in 56 years of Guyana basketball is a significant accomplishment.On October 11, FIBA officially launched the new FIBA World Ranking for Men, presented by Nike. This is an innovative game-based ranking that factors in all official games, ranging from regional pre-qualifiers all the way to the FIBA Basketball World Cup Final, and includes the Olympic Basketball Tournament as well as the Continental Cups.As a result, it can more accurately reflect the performances of 153 national teams over an eight-year period, compared to 91 national teams under the previous system which was competition-based and only took into account the final standings of tournaments.The basic principle is simple: 1,000 basis points are awarded in each game, with the two teams earning a share of these according to the margin of victory or defeat. Weightings are added on a round basis, meaning that, when a team progresses through a top official FIBA competition, its wins are worth more with every round it plays.The ranking has revised weightings of the competitions. For the first time, it sees the implementation of a time decay rewarding teams for their most recent performances. This replaces the system in place under the previous ranking, where all games over the 8-year period received the same value.Finally, the new ranking also recognizes the value of away wins and rewards facing and beating opponents that are higher in the ranking.The new ranking was devised with the new calendar clearly in mind. FIBA is pleased to offer more national teams– 149 of them–a ranking that can be updated after every window of the Qualifiers so that national teams, fans and their national federations can follow their progress on a more regular basis.For now, the new FIBA World Ranking for Men, presented by Nike, only applies to senior men’s national teams and competitions. FIBA will work towards drawing up and implementing similar systems for the women’s and youth (boys and girls) rankings at a later stage.
TRAINER HAS OHIO IN WINNING STATE OF MINDOhio returns to a distance that is right in his wheelhouse Saturday when he runs in the Grade II, $200,000 City of Hope Mile on grass.Half of his 30 career races have come at that distance on turf, where he has won five. The eight-year-old Brazilian-bred gelding meandered from his comfort zone last out, going a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 9, but he still finished a creditable third, beaten less than two lengths in a field of 10.“They set a track record that day,” pointed out trainer Michael McCarthy. “Obviously, we’re very proud of his effort since it had been a long time (a string of 12 races) since he had run on anything other than grass, so it was certainly respectable.“He’s come back and trained well (four furlongs Saturday in 49.40). Even though he favors a mile, he’s a bit trip-dependent. He doesn’t have a real big turn of foot and he’s a bit one-paced, so obviously working out a trip is always important with him.“But he shows up every time. He loves his job.”Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Bruce Treitman, Ohio has nine wins, his most impressive coming by a desperate but thrillingly suspenseful nose at 9-1 in the prestigious, Grade I, Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita last March 30. He has earned $520,767.Also ticketed for the City of Hope Mile is Grade I Shoemaker Mile winner Bolo, ridden for the first time by returning Tyler Baze, who resumes his career full-time at Santa Anita with agent Craig O’Bryan after a successful six-month tour in the Midwest.Others probable for the City of Hope are Andesh, Abel Cedillo; Catapult, Rafael Bejarano; Kingly, Mario Gutierrez; Prince Earl, Geovanni Franco; Restrainedvengence, Ruben Fuentes, and True Valour, Drayden Van Dyke.McKINZIE, HIGHER POWER STILL EYE BC CLASSIC DESPITE UPSETBob Baffert and John Sadler reported Sunday morning their charges emerged from being upset by 25-1 winner Mongolian Groom in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes in good order and if all goes well, it’s on to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 2.“He came out of it all right,” Baffert said of McKinzie, the 3-10 favorite who had the entire stretch to overtake Mongolian Groom but couldn’t, losing by 2 ¼ lengths after being only a half-length back at the top of the stretch.“The plan is to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.” John Sadler said Higher Power “came out fine” from his third in the Awesome Again, beaten 7 ½ lengths.“It was too bad that he stumbled so badly at the start and was kind of eliminated,” Sadler added, “but if he’s in good shape, he’ll go back in the big one (Breeders’ Cup Classic).”CEDILLO WINS FIRST GRADED STAKES AT GREAT RACE PLACEIt was business as usual for Abel Cedillo Sunday morning after winning his first Grade I stakes at Santa Anita yesterday aboard longshot Mongolian Groom for trainer Enebish Ganbat in the Awesome Again Stakes.For good measure, the 30-year-old native of Guatemala won his first graded stakes three races earlier by capturing the Grade II John Henry Turf Championship on 9-1 shot Cleopatra’s Strike for trainer Phil D’Amato.“He worked nine horses this morning and started at 5 o’clock,” said Cedillo’s agent, Tom Knust. “He has a lot of talent, works hard, is very smart, very strong and reminds you a lot of Joel Rosario.” Cedillo caught the eye of Knust while winning races in bunches at Golden Gate earlier this year, confident he could succeed on the competitive Southern California circuit.“I’m very happy with him,” Knust continued. “As for upsetting McKinzie, you never know, because that’s horse racing. You could pay $12,000 for a horse (as Mongolian Stable did for Mongolian Groom) or you could pay a million dollars. You can never tell how good they are until they start running.”MAIDEN WINNER DONNA VELOCE RUNS AS EXPECTEDDonna Veloce fulfilled every expectation of Team Callaghan when she won her debut race Saturday by 9 ¼ lengths, leading throughout the 6 ½ furlong sprint as the 3-10 favorite under Flavien Prat.The two-year-old bay filly bred in Kentucky by Coin Broker Syndicate covered the distance on a fast track in 1:16.22, handily (read geared down) under 122 pounds.“When you’ve got one you think is extremely good, you just want everything to go right,” trainer Simon Callaghan said Sunday morning.“You never want to predict victory. She came back well and we’ll see how her next few works go and look at the possibility of getting into the Breeders’ Cup.“If she doesn’t, we could wait for the Starlet (Grade I at Los Alamitos in December).”Owned by Kaleem Shah, the $800,000 daughter of Uncle Mo’s name translates to “fast woman” in Italian, but off her debut performance, she’s a runner in any language.FINISH LINES: Veteran Donnie Meche invades from Canterbury Downs to make his California debut in today’s second race when he rides Iron Curtain for trainer Val Brinkerhoff. The Louisiana native has been riding since 1993, ridden in the Kentucky Derby twice, rode first call for Steve Asmussen for six years and is six wins shy of 2,000 in his career, according to his agent, Ken Huth. “I always wanted to try California,” said Meche (pronounced “mesh”) and I finally got here.” Huth has Meche booked to ride Tule Fog Saturday in the $100,000 Harris Farms Stakes at Fresno for trainer Javier Sierra . . . Joe Talamo pilots favored Mucho Gusto for Bob Baffert in today’s Grade III, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. Talamo will ride Selcourt for John Sadler in Saturday’s Grade III LA Woman Stakes. Sadler has Martin Pedroza back on Horse Greedy in Saturday’s headliner, the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, in which Omaha Beach is due to make his eagerly awaited return to the races. It looms a busy weekend for Sadler, who also has unbeaten and likely favorite Encoder set for Sunday’s $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes at a mile on turf . . . In Saturday’s Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes, the six runners finished in exact order of their post position numbers: No. 1 Mirth first; No. 2 Beau Recall second; No. 3 Elysea’s World third; No. 4 Siberian Iris fourth; No. 5 Excellent Sunset fifth; and No. 6 Paved sixth . . . Agent Derek Lawson has Kentucky Derby-winning rider Flavien Prat booked on multiple Grade I winner Vasilika for Jerry Hollendorfer in Saturday’s Grade I First Lady Stakes at Keeneland. Prat has two other stakes mounts that day, Bowie’s Hero for Phil D’Amato and Danuska’s Girl, also for Hollendorfer . . . Morning Line Maker Jon White advises Mongolian Groom earned a lofty 110 Beyer Speed figure in winning yesterday’s Awesome Again, while runner-up McKinzie earned a 108, and dazzling two-year-old maiden filly winner Donna Veloce checked in with a Beyer of 91 . . . Having withdrawn an appeal of a suspension issued Aug. 10, Drayden Van Dyke will serve a three-day ban Oct. 19, 20 and 24 . . . Santa Anita is dark Monday, Tuesday simulcast wil be available Wednesday. Live racing resumes Thursday at 1 p.m. McKINZIE, HIGHER POWER BOTH EYE BC CLASSIC ABEL CEDILLO MAKES THE GRADE AT SANTA ANITA MAIDEN WINNER DONNA VELOCE ONE ‘FAST WOMAN’ LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV: XBTV Sunday: What to Watch for at Santa Anita Park on September 29th, 2019FEATURES:Quick Questions With Trainer Eoin Harty: Part 1 of 2WORK OUTS:Neptune’s Storm (Outside) and Via Egnatia (Baltas) 9/29/19Catalina Cruiser (Sadler) 9/28/19Kentan Road (Sadler) 9/28/19Giant Expectations (Eurton) 9/28/19Omaha Beach (Outside) and Magic Rate (Mandella) 9/27/19Map Maker (Inside) and Technicolor (Baffert) 9/27/17Campaign (Sadler) 9/27/19Paradise Woods (Sheriffs) 9/23/19 OHIO RETURNS TO MILE IN GRADE II CITY OF HOPE TYLER BAZE RETURNS FULL TIME THIS SATURDAY VETERAN MECHE MAKES CALIFORNIA DEBUT TODAY