IEAH Corporation, a subsidiary of International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc. announced Thursday the formation of a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic located across the street from Belmont Park that will be run by noted veterinarians James Hunt and Patricia Hogan.The facility will be constructed on property purchased by IEAH Holdings, which operates the successful IEAH Stables. Richard Schiavo, who runs IEAH with the company's founder Michael Iavarone, said the new clinic, located on Plainfield Ave., which runs along the Belmont stable area, will be built at a cost of $7 million."We became affiliated with Dr. Hunt, who is one of the most recognized veterinarians in the country, several years ago," Schiavo said. "We began discussing a plan to build a veterinary facility within close proximity to Belmont Park. We spent a lot of time and effort, and purchased a piece of land at the end of last year. We've been spending the past few months designing the facility, which we've completed, and we are now in the process of staffing the facility."Dr. Hogan has been instrumental in the design of the facility, and she has agreed to join us as our chief surgeon. She was heavily involved in the final design, and it's pretty much her baby. The facility itself will be managed by Dr. Hunt, along with Dr. Hogan, and is something that is sorely needed for the horsemen. We hope to have construction started by the end of the year and to open the doors sometime in the middle of next year. IEAH Corp. is strictly the financial wing of the facility; Dr. Hunt and Dr. Hogan will own the practice and have full control. We just provide the financial backing."Hogan, who currently works out of the New Jersey Equine Clinic in Clarksburg, N.J., is best known for her work on equine stars such as Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex. She is hoping to continue working at the New Jersey facility two days a week, while commuting to the Belmont clinic."This will provide me with new and exciting opportunities," Hogan said. "I will be able to do bone scans and treadmill, which is something I've always wanted to do. We will also have our eye on the rest of Long Island, which has a large horse population."Hunt currently oversees more than 1,200 horses on the Belmont grounds alone and 60% of the horse population at the New York Racing Association tracks. He will play a key role in staffing the facility, and will serve as the head veterinarian of the medical center."Mike and Rich had been shipping their horses long distances for surgeries, and they contacted me over a period of time and got me involved in this," Hunt said. "Right now, I sit atop a very large racetrack practice, based primarily just on service. One thing I was not able to provide was a surgical service, and that's why I became involved in this project. "For whatever reason, a lot of owners and trainers shipped their horses long distances for surgical and diagnostic procedures, which is something I've always been interested in having right here at our own track. As long as my management abilities are up to it, and Dr. Hogan's hands stay as good as they are now, we'll be able to provide really top-notch diagnostic and surgical services."Iavarone said they have not yet agreed on a name for the facility, and will be looking into sponsorship. "Right now, it's basically the Equine Medical Center at Belmont Park," he said.The facility will be 11,500 square feet, and among its many units will be a modern surgical facility; an examination and procedural suite; a fully computerized radiography, ultrasound console unit; a complete hematology/urology lab; a full pharmacy; treadmill endoscopy evaluation; indoor recovery stalls, a nuclear scintigraphy unit; and mobile radiographics.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said all options regarding the New York Racing Association franchise remain on the table while his administration wrestles with various ideas for the future of racing in the state.