A horse walks a shedrow at Belmont Park

A horse walks a shedrow at Belmont Park

Anne M. Eberhardt

Second EHV-1 Positive Extends Quarantine at Belmont

Unraced 3-year-old male tested positive in follow-up exam.

The New York Racing Association announced Jan. 19 that a "precautionary quarantine" at Belmont Park's Barn 44 remains in place after a horse that tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 again came back with a positive result in a follow-up test.

The EHV-1 positive test for a horse trained by Linda Rice has led to a ban by the Maryland Jockey Club of three Barn 44 horses—Do Share, Life in Shambles, and Chief Lion—that were scheduled to race in the Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park Jan. 20.

Sal Sinatra, president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, said Jan. 20 that a horse shipped to Laurel tested positive for EHV-1. The horse was removed from the grounds and the barn he was stabled in has been placed under quarantine. The horse will be tested off property again Jan. 23. If the horse tests negative, restrictions will be lifted immediately. If he tests positive again, the restrictions will remain in place until Jan. 30.

"We're asking horsemen in other states and at training centers to check their policies before entering," Sinatra said.

At Belmont, the affected horse in Barn 44—an unraced 3-year-old male—first tested positive Jan. 9.

NYRA placed the horse in an isolation barn immediately after the first positive test was revealed at the Cornell Ruffian Equine Hospital, where the horse was treated for a fever and what was described by officials as "a mild respiratory issue."

In what NYRA officials said was an additional precaution, all horses in Barn 44 were placed under quarantine and barred from racing at Aqueduct Racetrack or training with other horses.

Those horses exposed to the unnamed horse that tested positive have been asymptomatic.

"All horses in Barn 44 have been and will continue to be monitored daily for fever and other signs of illness,'' a statement from NYRA said.

NYRA officials indicated the affected horse has not since developed a fever and has shown no neurological symptoms.