Historic twin spires of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Abbie Myers.

Churchill Downs herpesvirus outbreak holds at six

Reported by Horse Racing Nation

IT could be said that no news is good news at Churchill Downs, where the equine-herpesvirus appeared to have been contained at six positive cases.

“That’s a good thing that there really is nothing new,” said Dr. Will Farmer, the equine medical director for Churchill Downs Inc., in a telephone interview Tuesday morning. “There have been no clinical issues at all. We’re continuing twice-a-day temperature checks. Everybody has been completely normal. No issues there.”

It has been a week since a filly trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. displayed symptoms of the herpesvirus. After she tested positive, she was sent to the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in nearby Lexington, Ky., and 13 other horses in that barn were quarantined. Five more tested positive by the end of last week.

Eventually, four barns were locked down, including one that was established to isolate the infected horses. A few dozen horses had to stay in their stalls, but no more herpesvirus cases were detected. Outside the four barns, backside activity at Churchill returned to normal Friday, albeit less busy with so much of racing moving south for the winter.

If all continues to go well, the first 13 quarantined horses may be eligible to come out of quarantine as soon as Wednesday. Continue reading »


Tuesday’s Horse

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