Belmont EHV-1 Quarantine Will Affect Fields For Laurel's Top Winter Stakes

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The 21-day quarantine currently in effect for Barn 15 at Belmont Park to control an outbreak of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) will preclude any New York-based horses from shipping in to Laurel Park for the time being, and will have an adverse effect on field sizes for the Maryland track's two Grade III winter sprint stakes on Feb. 17.

Mike Rogers, the president of the racing division for 1/ST Racing and Gaming, which owns Laurel, disclosed the ban on Belmont shippers during Tuesday's Maryland Racing Commission meeting. He specifically mentioned the General George S. and Barbara Fritchie S., both worth $200,000 and run at seven furlongs, as being affected. Two other $100,000 stakes are also on the same card.

“Unfortunately, we could be affected by the EHV-1 outbreak that took place in New York right now,' Rogers said. “As of right now, we're not accepting horses from New York. So it could affect our field size, because we do have a lot of nominations from New York.”

The highly contagious EHV-1 can spread during any time of the year, but the onset of winter typically brings a spike in cases nationwide.

Cute Curls (Tapiture), an unraced 3-year-old filly trained by Danny Gargan, was euthanized Feb. 3 after displaying acute neurological symptoms.

A New York Racing Association press release from Feb. 4 stated that 34 horses are stabled in Barn 15, which is also home to stalls for trainers Jim Ryerson and Gustavo Rodriguez.

The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC), which maintains a national database of updates and notices, reported Feb. 5 that a second filly out of Belmont's Barn 15 also spiked a fever and that “blood and a nasal swab are being submitted for PCR testing.”

The EDCC report continued: “An official NY State quarantine of all horses stabled in Barn 15 at Belmont Park Racetrack was put in place on 2/4/24. Horses stabled in Barn 15 are not permitted to train in the company of the general population of horses. Horses from Barn 15 must train after the close of regular training hours. Standard biosecurity measures are in place and enforced by NYRA Security personnel with veterinary supervision.”

Rogers said that “We'll take our guidance from our veterinarians before we allow [any] horses in from New York.”


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