Prairie Meadows Lets Horses In, But Not Out

The quarantine at Prairie Meadows was relaxed slightly June 8 to allow horses to enter the stable area, but no horses will be allowed to leave the grounds until test results for a possible equine herpesvirus case are known.

The barn area was quarantined the evening of June 6 after Storm Wrangler showed symptoms of equine herpesvirus. The horse is at the Iowa State University veterinary clinic, but test results aren't expected until June 10 at the earliest.

State veterinarians decided June 8 to allow horses to enter the barn area and be placed in the ship-in barn. That will help trainers who rotate horses between farms and their allotted stalls at the track.

However, until the nature of Storm Wrangler's illness is known, it's unlikely horses from other states will be sent to Prairie Meadows because they may not be allowed to return to their home tracks.

"We don't anticipate that many horses coming into race from jurisdictions right now," said Keith Soring, a state veterinarian at Prairie Meadows. "If this lingers, there may have to be some changes and moving some horses around to get a true isolation barn."

Ron Statton, who oversees trainer Ron Moquette's string of 15 horses at Prairie Meadows, had planned to take horses to Kentucky but can't leave until Kentucky officials give their approval.

"We were planning on leaving two days before this ever happened," Statton said. "Now, we're in a situation where we don't know if Ellis Park or Churchill Downs will receive them."

Trainers are being told to keep a running record of their horses' temperatures if they plan on racing elsewhere. If the equine herpesvirus test is positive, most states require a history of the temperatures to make sure horses don't have fevers.