Philadelphia’s Parx Racing has been under a quarantine for equine herpesvirus since the first of April and seven horses have become sick. The outbreak was confined to horses in Barns #4 and #30 and has been contained for awhile now. A new round of testing is scheduled for Monday and if results come back negative than the quarantine could be lifted which would allow Ned Allard’s Abiding Star to enter the Preakness Stakes and several other horses to enter races on the Preakness undercard and Friday’s Black Eyed Susan race card.
If the quarantine is lifted Allard will ship Abiding Star and Always Sunshine to Pimlico for the Preakness and Grade 3 Maryland Sprint respectively. Horses in Barn 30 and the track isolation area will be tested for the equine herpesvirus on Monday. If all test negative, the quarantine could be lifted as soon as Tuesday. Most of the horses have previously tested negative for the virus so hopes are high that this difficult situation can finally be brought to an end.
Maryland Jockey Club President Sinatra says that entries for the Black Eyed Susan and undercard races will be taken on Sunday. Parx horses will be allowed to enter and will be scratched if the quarantine is not lifted. There will also be precautions taken with these horses: “Parx horses will be allowed to enter in the Friday stakes as long as they don’t exclude anyone else from running Those horses will only be allowed to ship here on race day.”
Allard’s horses are the only ones preparing to ship to Pimlico for Preakness Day if the quarantine ends. Sinatra says that a temporary two-stall barn would be built for Allard’s horses and they would otherwise be kept in an isolation area. Abiding Star and Always Sunshine would be allowed to train at 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday before the track opens for other horses. Added Sinatra: “We are going to do everything possible to ensure things are 100 percent safe for all of the horses stabled at Pimlico.” Allard says that both horses are doing great and never became sick during the outbreak at Parx Racing.
The Preakness will be run next Saturday at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Track. Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is expected to be the morning line favorite when the numbers go up after Wednesday’s post position draw.