01/28/2016 3:44PM

Herpes positive prompts Oaklawn to ban horses from New Mexico, Arizona


Oaklawn Park announced Thursday it has banned horses from Arizona and New Mexico due to equine herpesvirus positives at Sunland Park and a suspected positive at Turf Paradise. The restriction includes horses who have been in Arizona or New Mexico since Jan. 1.

The horses are banned from the grounds immediately and until further notice, according to Oaklawn director of racing David Longinotti.

In addition, connections from Arizona and New Mexico, including jockeys, trainers and grooms, will not be allowed on the grounds until they meet with the stewards, according to a release issued by Oaklawn.

“We are being overly cautious because our main concern is for the safety of the horses currently stabled on our grounds,” Longinotti said.

Sunland Park in New Mexico suspended live racing earlier this month because of five positives for the equine herpesvirus. The earliest the track could resume racing is Feb. 9. The strain EHV-1 was first confirmed in a 5-year-old Thoroughbred mare who was later euthanized, according to a release from Sunland.

Oaklawn races through April 16.