EHV-1 Quarantine Forces Seven Scratches at Calder

Calder Racecourse’s Grand Slam III card will be short seven scratched entries as a result of a Dec. 29 decision by Florida state officials to keep the equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) quarantine in place at Payson Park Training Center.

Track officials were hopeful that the Florida Department of Agriculture would modify the quarantine, which was put in place after a horse believed to be afflicted with EHV-1 died Dec. 22 at the Indiantown training facility. A total of five horses have died from the deadly virus, and Payson Park is one of nine locations under state-ordered quarantine.

Included in the scratches for the Dec. 30 Grand Slam III event are two entries and one also-eligible from The Frances A. Genter (gr. III). Scratched from the 7 ½ furlong turf event for 3-year-old fillies are Live Oak Plantation’s Saoirse Cat and Ramona Bass’ Captive Melody. Darley Stable’s Calla Lilly, a Payson Park-stabled filly entered as an also-eligible, also will be prevented from making the field.

Barring a reason for extending the measure, the quarantine at Payson Park could end sometime next week, according to Calder officials. Quarantines are also in effect at eight Martin County locations, as well as at one farm located near Ocala.

To date, state and federal officials have not imposed any other restrictions on movement of horses in or out of Florida, though some locations such as Tampa Bay Downs and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. have established their own shipping guidelines.

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