06/20/2014 12:39PM

Belmont barn placed under precautionary quarantine


ELMONT, N.Y. – Barn 22 at Belmont Park was placed under a precautionary quarantine Friday after a horse in the care of trainer Pat Kelly showed signs of EHV-1, equineherpes virus, according to the chief examining veterinarian for the New York Racing Association.

According to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, an unraced 2-year-old colt who arrived Monday at Belmont “experienced neurological symptoms and was febrile a few days ago. We don’t know what we have, but samples are being sent out, and we’ll know something later this weekend.”

According to Verderosa, there are 51 horses in that barn. No horses in that barn will be permitted to race until all tests are conducted and the quarantine is lifted. Furthermore, horses in that barn only will be permitted to train among themselves and after normal training hours are concluded. A one-hour period, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., has been set aside for those horses to train on the training track.

Kelly, who has 13 horses stabled in the barn, said the 2-year-old shipped in from Starting Point Training Center in Ocala, Fla. Other trainers with horses in Barn 22 include George Weaver (19), Tom Albertrani (10), and Christophe Clement (six).

Weaver had to scratch Aunty Pearl, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, from Friday’s sixth race at Belmont. Weaver would have been permitted to run Monument Hill, the 9-5 morning-line favorite in Friday’s seventh, because that horse was shipping in from Saratoga. However, Weaver said he scratched that horse because of a foot injury.

Weaver will be forced to scratch two horses from Sunday’s ninth race at Belmont – Soul House and Saltine Warrior – as well as Sam’s Buck, the morning-line favorite in Sunday’s 12th race at Monmouth Park.

In April, a barn at Aqueduct was placed under precautionary quarantine. That quarantine lasted one week.

Hopefully for NYRA, this quarantine doesn’t last much beyond that, as several horses based in Europe are scheduled to ship in for the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational and the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational, races for 3-year-old males and females, respectively, to be run July 5.

While NYRA would allow those horses to ship in, it’s uncertain whether the jurisdictions from where they came would allow them to ship back if a quarantine of the Belmont backstretch was in place.