On Monday, January 22nd, a horse suspected of having EHV (herpes) was reported to the PA Racing Commission office at The Meadows.
At approximately noon, PA Commission placed Barn 6 (where the sick horse was stabled) and Barn 21 (where a horse that was transported to Barn 21 from Barn 6 on Friday, January 19th was stabled) in a quarantine situation. No horses were allowed out with biosecurity measured put in place. A horse left Barn 6 between the time of the veterinarian’s exam of the sick horse and when the quarantine was imposed was taken to ship-in barn and then to paddock and allowed to race at the approval of the Racing Commission. That horse was returned to the ship in barn where it stayed for another 24-48 hours.
The races were cancelled on Tuesday due to a power outage. The Commission decided to restrict entry to and from the barn area on Wednesday, thereby keeping ship-in horses from racing that day, but since the track was deemed unsafe, races were cancelled again.
The racing office took entries for Friday and Monday card on Wednesday, but excluded all horses except those on grounds and not under quarantine (Barns 6 & 21). With the limited possible entries only 8 races were carded each day with some short fields.
On Thursday morning, a group of 25-30 ship-in trainers came to the office to complain that they felt there should be no racing due to their inability to participate due to the stable gate restrictions. Although the meeting was kept civil, their severe frustrations should be noted. Complaints from the ship-In trainers have continued today.
A meeting of the PA Commission, track management and MSOA representative, and Dr. Moore, Animal Health Board was held at 1:00 PM.
At that meeting, the group was updated by Dr. Moore that one more horse has tested positive, but is located off site of The Meadows. She believes that racing can continue with horses on grounds that are not quarantined.
Meadows management would like to continue racing as long as the cards are viable. Their concern with an extended shutdown is the probability of losing customers that won’t come back as well as continuity of simulcast signals. As of today, the racetrack surface was deemed suitable and safe for racing. Further inspection will transpire tomorrow.
In regards to quarantine and ship-in information:
Barn 21 remains under quarantine until Feb 6th unless horses become symptomatic or run fevers. Barn 21 horses may use the track when no other horses are on the track beginning Saturday, Jan 27th. Tom Leasure is working out a schedule for them. All horses must test negative for EVH by Feb 6th for quarantine to be lifted.
Ship-in horses will be allowed to enter the premises beginning February 6, so long as the quarantine of Barn 21 is lifted.
Barn 6 is under a 28 day quarantine that began on January 24th and with no other temperature elevations or symptomatic or positive EVHs will be released February 21st. Those horses must remain in Barn 6 until quarantine is lifted.
Meadows Management must disinfect the paddock, Lasix sites daily and the starting gate after each race.
MSOA and Meadows Management will continue to work with the Racing Commission to monitor the situation and make the right decisions going forward.
Kim Hankins, Executive Director