For a change this news isn’t due to horse racing’s shaky financial state.
Monday’s revelation that a horse stabled at Calder Race Course had tested positive for the equine herpesvirus and the subsequent quarantine of the barn area will have both an immediate and long-term impact on the track’s racing programs.
The immediate effect will come Saturday. As a result of the quarantine, Calder management has decided to postpone the $100,000 My Charmer and $100,000 Tropical Turf handicaps, both Grade 3 events. Under the guidelines set forth by the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Security, no horses are allowed to ship into Calder for the next two weeks. There is no restriction on horses shipping out from the track, although at least one track, Tampa Bay Downs, said it would not accept Calder shippers to its barn area.
Only 9 of the 31 horses set to be racing were already on the grounds of Calder, so neither race could have been run while the quarantine was in effect.
One horse already had to be euthanized due to the equineherpes virus. While the quarantine makes life difficult for horsemen operating out of Calder, it is a necessary measure to protect the horse racing population in Florida.
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