Jersey Officials Await Test Results; Fields Take Hit

New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority officials are awaiting test results on a horse that shipped from a Canadian farm to the Monmouth Park backstretch and is suspected of having equine herpesvirus.

The horse, which was sent to the Monmouth barn of trainer Justin Nixon, spiked a fever two days after arrival and is currently in an isolation facility while tests for EHV-1 are pending. A horse on the farm from which the horse shipped was found to have EHV-1.

In addition to the isolation facility, two barns at Monmouth are under quarantine--one that contains horses trained by Nixon and John Forbes, the other with horses trained by Tim Hills and Bill Anderson. Due to the quarantine, horses are allowed to leave Monmouth to race only at Meadowlands, also operated by the NJSEA, after which they must return to Monmouth.

Shippers from other tracks were able to race at Meadowlands Oct. 24-25, but also were required to return to Monmouth for at least 12 days. The quarantine restrictions prompted trainers to scratch 33 horses off the program; on Oct. 24, just 47 horses ran in nine races.

"Beginning with (the Oct. 26) card, we're only taking entries for horses that are stabled at Monmouth," said Robert Kulina, vice president of racing at Monmouth. "While this without a doubt hurts our business, the good thing is that precautions were taken in an incredibly timely manner."

Philadelphia Park, Penn National Race Course, and Delaware Park have closed their stable gates to horses based in New Jersey until at least after the tests results are obtained.