The New York Racing Association received federal permission Tuesday to open a quarantine facility at Aqueduct. The exception granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to its current restrictions for foot-and-mouth disease will make it easier for European horses to compete in Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship prep races at Belmont Park.
"The facility is ready now and has been since Saratoga," said Terry Meyocks, NYRA president. "It is our standard practice to have the facility ready because in the fall we have horses ship in. We were hoping we would get the approval."
Earlier this month, some European trainers said they were having second thoughts about shipping to the United States before the Breeders' Cup because it meant their horses would have to spend 48 hours in a general quarantine facility in Newburgh, N.Y. The USDA has banned the use of private quarantine centers for horses coming in from European countries that reported cases of foot-and-mouth.
An exception for a special quarantine center was granted earlier for the Arlington Million (gr. IT) and has already been approved for the Breeders' Cup races at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.