Updated on 11/14/2013 3:19PM

Parx Racing: Sunday stakes postponed due to quarantine for herpesvirus


A pair of $75,000 stakes scheduled for Sunday have been postponed and a quarantine has been imposed as the result of a horse testing positive for equine herpesvirus at Parx Racing in suburban Philadelphia.

According to Sal Sinatra, Parx’s director of racing, a horse trained by Steve Klesaris was among six ailing animals sent to a clinic for testing, which confirmed one positive result for equine herpesvirus. Barn 21, which houses about 20 Klesaris runners and horses from four other trainers, has been placed under quarantine and none of the horses may train.

The same restrictions apply to a second barn, which contains a horse recently claimed by Roy Houghton from Klesaris. That horse is being tested. Five other trainers with horses in that barn also are affected.

Aside from Klesaris, who ranks 19th in this year’s trainer standings at Parx with 26 victories, none of the trainers whose horses are under quarantine are in the top 20.

In a memo outlining the situation, Sinatra said the quarantine will remain in effect for a minimum of 21 days, effective Nov. 13.

“The horse tested positive for equine herpesvirus, but we do not know which strain it is,” Sinatra said. “It is unlikely it’s neurological. It should be noted that the horse is not neurologic as yet.”

In its announcement of the quarantine Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture stated that the horse tested positive for equine herpesvirus type 1.

"Some horses at the track came into contact with the positive horse and have shown clinical signs of the disease, ranging from fever to neurological impairment," the press release stated. "The horses remain under quarantine until test results are completed."

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, "barns housing the positive horse and horses showing signs of the virus are quarantined for at least 21 days. Horses must be free of clinical signs for 21 days and test negative for the disease before the quarantine can be lifted."

No horses stabled at Parx will be permitted to leave. Beginning with Monday’s card, entries will be drawn exclusively from the horse population on the grounds, minus those in the two barns under quarantine.

The Chris Elser and Donna Freyer Memorial stakes, both restricted to 2-year-olds who spent time in South Carolina, were withdrawn from Sunday’s program and will be rescheduled for Dec. 28. As a result, Parx will run just seven races Sunday. All shippers for Saturday and Sunday’s cards will be scratched with no penalty.