03/02/2016 12:36PM

Campo: Payson quarantine ‘should not affect us too much'


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The quarantine that will prevent horses stabled at Payson Park from racing here for at least the next three weeks should have a minimal effect on entries, P.J. Campo, Gulfstream Park’s general manager and vice president of racing, said on Wednesday. An unidentified horse tested positive for the equine herpesvirus at Payson Park on Monday, leaving the approximately 480 horses stabled there in quarantine for 21 days.

“I feel really bad for the guys stabled up there unable to run for the next three weeks,” said Campo. “If everything went smooth, the quarantine will lift by March 21. This is kind of a quiet period for us, so except for a couple of the stakes here this weekend, it should not affect us too much.”

Campo estimated that less than 10 percent of his entries come from horses stabled at Payson Park. Stakes coordinator Mike Costanzo said that Saturday’s The Very One Stakes lost three potential starters because of the quarantine, two from trainer Christophe Clement and a third from Bill Mott. Clement, Mott, and Shug McGaughey are the three most prominent outfits affected by the quarantine.

“The guys there are probably sitting on horses ready to run, but at the end of the day, they can keep training, and it’s a good facility, and they can move on,” said Campo. “Unfortunately, there’s just nothing we can do about it. We’ve got to run our business. It sounds like they are handling their business well up there at Payson. The state people are obviously happy we’re closing our doors to horses from Payson Park during this period, and hopefully we can contain this thing and all of this will be over in three weeks.”

McGaughey said he has 36 horses stabled at Payson Park, with a smaller contingent at Gulfstream Park.

“I’ve got some horses here to run, a couple this weekend and a couple next weekend,” said McGaughey. “And I’m sure some of the races that might be affected by the quarantine, that P.J. will try to accommodate us when it’s over.”

McGaughey used Payson Park to prepare Orb for his victory in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

“I can tell you if this thing had happened the year I had Orb up there, I’d be a lot more nervous than I am now,” McGaughey said with a chuckle.

Tampa Bay Downs also gets some of its entries from horses based at Payson, and the quarantine could affect the Tampa Bay Derby card there March 12.