Possible Virus Has Mid-Atlantic Tracks Taking Action

Philadelphia Park, Penn National Race Course, and Delaware Park have closed their stable gates to horses stabled at Monmouth Park, based on information that several horses at the New Jersey racetrack have exhibited signs of the equine herpesvirus.

"From what we know, several horses at Monmouth developed fevers and are being tested for EHV-1," said Sal Sinatra, Philly Park's director of racing. "Effective immediately, our stable gate is shut to Jersey shippers, and we've scratched horses that were entered on our cards both (Oct. 23-24). We're trying to be diligent."

Sinatra said horsemen who have entered horses for the Oct. 24 card at Meadowlands in New Jersey will be allowed to leave Philly Park and run, but will not be allowed back in. Currently, only the receiving barn on the Meadowlands backstretch is being used to stable horses.

Penn National has imposed the same restrictions on New Jersey shippers as Philly Park, with horses entered to race at the Meadowlands not being allowed to re-enter the Grantville, Pa., racetrack's backstretch. Penn National also isn't accepting shippers from Monmouth, according to a release.

Sam Abbey, racing secretary at Delaware Park, said no New Jersey shippers are allowed at that track, either. "I think Jersey officials have this thing well in hand, and they're doing all the right things," Abbey said.

Abbey said he would put a note on the Delaware Park overnight sheet says any horses who leave to race at Meadowlands will not be permitted back to Delaware Park for now.

Officials at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates Monmouth and Meadowlands, were unavailable for comment, though a release on the situation was expected the afternoon of Oct. 23.

About the Author

Linda Dougherty

Linda Dougherty is a correspondent for The Blood-Horse magazine.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More