Laurel Park quarantine lifted after horse tests negative for virus

Update posted Jan. 24, 2018

The Maryland Jockey Club Jan. 23 announced that a second test on a horse for equine herpesvirus-1 tested negative, so the quarantine of Barn 20 has ended.

The horse, English Tudor is trained by Tony Aguirre. He tested positive for the virus Jan. 19, and soon after the barn at Laurel Park was quarantined. Given the new development, horses in Barn 20 are now free to leave the barn and train.

In a related matter, the self-imposed EHV-1 quarantine at the University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center also has been lifted. English Tudor was among the horses that had visited New Bolton for surgery; all owners of horses that visited the facility after a horse there tested positive were urged to have their horses tested.

Posted: Jan. 20, 2018

Barn 20 at Laurel Park was placed under quarantine by the Maryland Department of Agriculture Jan. 19 after a horse tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1.

The horse, English Tudor, was removed from the grounds, according to Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra, and biosecurity measures have been put in place.

English Tudor—trained by Anthony Aguirre, who recently got him from King Leatherbury—was tested because of a recent visit to the University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center, where he was gelded. The test was precautionary because New Bolton recently ordered a quarantine of its facility after a horse there tested positive for EHV-1.

The Laurel-based horse, which didn’t display neurologic complications, will be tested again Jan. 21, Sinatra said. Pending those results, all horses in Barn 20 won’t be permitted to leave the barn.

There are some differences in how states handle EHV-1 cases. For instance, tracks in Pennsylvania—Parx Racing and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course—won’t allow horses from Laurel to ship in until the quarantine is lifted, and if horses from those two tracks ship to Laurel to race, they can’t return until the situation is resolved.

The quarantine resulted in multiple scratches on the Jan. 20 program, which included two stakes with shippers from Belmont Park, Parx, Penn National and the Fair Hill Training Center. In addition, the MJC canceled the first race when most of the field scratched.

Meanwhile, Barn 44 at Belmont was placed under quarantine Jan. 10 after a horse trained by Linda Rice tested positive for EHV-1. The same horse, a 3-year-old that hasn’t yet raced, again tested positive Jan. 19, so the barn remains quarantined.

As of Jan. 20 no other horses on the grounds of Laurel or Belmont had shown symptoms of EHV-1.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture Jan. 18 reported that the horse at New Bolton came a from Baltimore County farm. The MDA didn’t identify the farm or breed of the horse in question but said the farm remains under a 21-day “investigational hold” and that biosecurity measures are in place.

New Bolton reported Jan. 19 that a second horse at its facility tested positive for EHV-1 and was moved to an on-site isolation facility. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has traced and quarantined horses suspected of having been exposed to the virus before the first diagnosis at New Bolton.

(Laurel Park photo by Tom LaMarra)