01/02/2009 12:00AM

Texas bans Fair Grounds shippers


The Texas Racing Commission has directed all of the state's racetracks and licensed training facilities to prohibit ship-ins from Fair Grounds in the wake of a horse testing positive for the equine herpesvirus at the New Orleans track Dec. 24. The policy is expected to be revisited after results from a new round of tests are available in mid-January.

Texas's action follows a similar move taken by Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., which as of Friday was not allowing horses from Fair Grounds, Delta Downs, or Evangeline Downs to enter its stable area. Oaklawn will reassess its policy again on Monday.

Texas is prohibiting only Fair Grounds shippers at the present time. The lone track in the state currently racing is Retama Park near San Antonio, while there are horses in training at Lone Star Park.

Sunland Park in New Mexico is monitoring the herpes situation but has no restrictions on Fair Grounds shippers because the state's livestock commission, which oversees such matters, has not called for any action, Sunland officials said on Friday.