Calder Horse Dies; Barn Under Quarantine

The horse suffered from an apparent neurological illness.

By Jim Freer and Esther Marr

A horse that was suffering from an apparent neurological illness died the morning of March 22 at Calder Casino & Race Course, Calder officials said.

Calder, in Miami Gardens, Fla., is sending the horse to the University of Florida for a necropsy.

On March 20, the horse began showing signs of illness and Calder sent blood samples to the University of Kentucky for testing. Calder has not released the identity of the horse.

Calder expects to get test results back late in the afternoon of March 22, according to its spokeswoman Michele Blanco.

Based on test results, Calder and the Florida Department of Agriculture will determine what precautionary steps to take.

Since March 20, the barn where the now-deceased horse was stabled has been under quarantine.  Horses in that barn can train only during restricted hours.

Pending test results, Calder is not permitting horses to ship in or out of its property.

On March 21, Gulfstream Park canceled two races because large numbers of entries were not able to be vanned the eight miles from Calder. Gulfstream ran the eight other races on its 10-race card.

Gulfstream does not have live racing on March 22 and March 23.

Gulfstream will hold a race card as scheduled on March 24, said its president Ken Dunn. However, it might have to cancel one or more races if Calder’s ban on shippers remains in effect.