02/02/2006 1:00AM

Turfway quarantine lifted


The Kentucky state veterinarian on Thursday lifted the final quarantine restrictions at Turfway Park, declaring the track free of equine herpesvirus six weeks after the highly contagious disease first appeared at the track.

The final quarantine was in place on Barn 27, which housed 52 horses. The barn was initially quarantined Jan. 6 after several horses in it tested positive for exposure to equine herpesvirus, a highly contagious disease that attacks a horse's upper respiratory and neurological systems.

The horses in Barn 27 were scheduled to be allowed to resume regular training Friday.

The first case of equine herpesvirus at Turfway was diagnosed Dec. 21, resulting in a quarantine on Barn 26. That quarantine was lifted Jan. 19 after all 48 horses in the barn tested negative for the disease. Turfway was also forced to quarantine the barns housing its lead and outrider ponies, but those quarantines were lifted on Jan. 23.

Two horses were euthanized at Turfway because of equine herpesvirus, a racehorse named Coupe Aux Marrons and an outrider's pony.