Turfway Heightens Precautions After Filly Tests Positive

Turfway Park heightened precautionary measures Dec. 23 after a 3-year-old filly was diagnosed with equine herpesvirus, a contagious disease with respiratory and neurological signs.

The filly, trained by Chuck Simon, was shipped Dec. 21 to Hagyard-Davidson-McGee in Lexington, where she was diagnosed with equine herpesvirus and subsequently euthanatized, according to published reports. Simon had said earlier the filly hadn't even had a fever before she began showing signs of suspected equine herpesvirus.

"We didn't want her to suffer anymore," Simon told Associated Press.

Barn 26, where the filly was stabled, was put under quarantine Dec. 21 pending results of the tests. The barn, which houses more than 40 horses under the care of several trainers, remains under quarantine.

Turfway may issue guidelines for special training hours for horses in the barn as did Churchill Downs, where equine herpesvirus struck earlier this year. Churchill did not permit horses in the affected barn to race until the quarantine was lifted.

Officials with the state Department of Agriculture have been involved since equine herpesvirus was first suspected at Turfway. State Veterinarian Robert Stout, DVM, has ordered each trainer at the Northern Kentucky track to take every horse's temperature twice a day; every trainer must log each temperature taken, including the name of the horse, date, time, and actual reading.

Trainers must report any temperature of 101.5 degrees or higher to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority. The requirements will remain in place until further notice.

Other trainers in Barn 26 began taking precautionary measures Dec. 21 when Simon's filly was first suspected of having equine herpesvirus.

Turfway is closed until Dec. 26, when it will reopen for eight straight days of afternoon racing.

About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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