06/15/2013 10:00AM

Woodbine: Barnful of horses test negative for herpesvirus, can resume training


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The 64 horses in Woodbine’s Barn 3 all have tested negative for the equine herpesvirus  and will be allowed to resume training after being under quarantine since Tuesday.

Barn 1, where the virus first surfaced with the death of a 2-year-old filly on Monday, remains under full quarantine. All horses in both barns will be retested on Monday.

No horses will be allowed to exit Woodbine without Ontario Racing Commission approval until at least June 19.

Dr. Adam Chambers, manager of veterinary services for the ORC, had announced on Wednesday that a total of five horses in Barn 1 had tested positive for the virus.

One 2-year-old, trained by Paul Attard, is under observation at the nearby University of Guelph’s veterinary clinic.

“He’s stable,” said Attard. “There’s been slight improvement, every day. They think it’s possible for him to make a full recovery but there’s no way of knowing right now if he’ll ever race.”

The other horses in the barn who tested positive are confined to their stalls in Barn 1.

“Some of the owners are concerned,” said Attard. “They don’t understand why the horses haven’t been isolated.”

Woodbine’s old Standardbred paddock was used to isolate four horses who came up with high temperatures, a symptom of the virus, but all tested negative.

Attard has particular concerns as one of the main trainers here for the powerful Chiefswood Stable outfit, with three runners looking at upcoming stakes races here.

Original Script, who finished third here in last Sunday’s Woodbine Oaks, is eyeing the $250,000 Bison City for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies here June 29. Awesome Overture, undefeated in three career starts, is looking to make his stakes debut in the July 1 Dominion Day, which offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000. Heathcote, romping winner of last year’s closing-day Valedictory Stakes, is pointing for the Grade 3, $150,000 Singspiel, which will be run here on Queen’s Plate Day, July 7.

“Hopefully, we’ll get them all back training this week,” said Attard.

For now, Woodbine has adjusted its training schedule to allow the Barn 3 horses to go to the training track after the regular sessions have ended. The dirt training track usually is open to 10:30 a.m. daily but now will close at 9:15 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The turf training track, adjacent to the dirt surface, will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., weather permitting, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.