As Laurel Park continues to face lock downs due to EHV-1, the Maryland track cancelled Friday's nine-race program as a number of horses entered on the Mar. 12 card are now under quarantine. The Maryland Jockey Club will try to have the remaining horses–that aren't under quarantine–from Friday's program fill cards on Saturday and Sunday. Laurel will remain open for simulcasting Friday. The Stronach 5, Friday's national wager, was to feature two races from Laurel. It has been postponed to Mar. 19 with a carryover of $154,931.
Statement issued by 1/ST RACING's Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Dionne Benson, Regarding EHV1 at the Maryland Jockey Club Laurel Park:
“As reported, late in the day on Mar. 8, the Maryland Jockey Club was notified that a horse stabled at Laurel Park tested positive for equine herpes virus (EHV1). As per our standard veterinary protocols, the affected horse was immediately removed from the barn and is currently being treated at Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center.
Upon notification of the diagnosis, the Maryland Jockey Club, again per standard veterinary protocol, immediately closed the backside prohibiting horses from leaving the stable area.
Thanks to the contact tracing efforts of the veterinary team, I can confirm that the ill horse had recently been in two different barns and other horses in those two barns had contact with horses in two additional barns. Out of an abundance of caution for all other horses on-site, the Maryland Jockey Club quarantined barns 1, 4, 10 and 11. These barns are now under strict monitoring and quarantine requirements, including separate training from other horses at Laurel Park, prohibition from racing for horses from these barns, and increased biosecurity protocols. The team at the Maryland Jockey Club is working with the Maryland State Veterinarian, the Maryland Racing Commission, and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association to ensure all mandated biosecurity protocols are strictly followed.
As has been reported, the backside at Laurel Park will remain closed to horses shipping out for at least two weeks from the notification date, Mar. 8, and live racing is cancelled for Friday, Mar. 12. Pimlico Race Course will also be subject to the same restrictions on horses leaving the stable area.
As of this morning, no additional cases of EHV1 have been identified at the Maryland Jockey Club. The 1/ST RACING veterinary team will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide additional updates as they become available and are relevant.
Given the current high prevalence of EHV1 in the equine communities, our teams at all of our 1/ST RACING venues have been instructed to increase health check monitoring for all horses on our premises.
The health and safety of the horses who are race, train and stable at 1/ST RACING venues is top priority. The Maryland Jockey Club will continue to follow the requirements and recommendations of the Maryland State Veterinarian until the individual barn and backside quarantines can be safely lifted.
On behalf of the Maryland Jockey Club and 1/ST RACING, I would like to thank the horsemen for their ongoing cooperation and patience.”