An unnamed virus spreading through the barn areas at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park has reduced the number of horses available to race by "at least 10 to 15 percent," according to Oak Tree Racing Association director and practicing veterinarian Dr. Rick Arthur.
"It's a respiratory virus," Arthur said. "It causes low-grade temperatures, snotty noses and coughing, and is more evident in stables that do not have good vaccination programs. Yet it has affected horses in those programs as well."
Arthur estimates that close to 500 horses at both tracks have been infected with the virus, "primarily young horses, but some older horses as well. It looks like the cough runs at least 10 days after a horse comes down with the virus, which means it would lose at least 10 days of training but more likely three weeks."