Acting on the advice from the New Mexico Livestock Board, the New Mexico Racing Commission and New Mexico’s chief veterinarian, the horses will run for the first time in more than a month at Sunland Park. There have been 72 cases in the state, most at Sunland, which has not raced since Jan. One of the most important thoroughbred training centers in South Florida will be quarantined for the next 21-days after a horse came down with the dangerous Equine Herpesvirus this week. With a 1,500-horse stable area and 400 more at the nearby Frontera Training Center, Sunland will have a large pool of horses to fill its races even though some barns remain under quarantine, Fick said. “It’s mandatory that, twice a day, the temperature of every horse on the grounds is taken, logged and reported to both Sunland Park and to the Racing Commission,” said Dan Fick, acting director of the New Mexico Racing Commission. The track’s general manager Rick Baugh and director of racing Dustin Dix had requested to increase purses for overnight races by 15%, effective from March 29 through May 3. At Remington, officials completed a thorough disinfecting of all surfaces in the barn area, and the starting gates, using a food-grade, residual disinfectant.
Fick said other tracks around the country have continued to race in the past despite the presence of an EHV-1 outbreak, though the number of horses confirmed for the disease at Sunland Park is larger than in most of those other cases. But the colt who will get some attention from fans, if not bettors, is Dad (6-1), who is making his 3-year-old debut. 18 Turf Paradise in Arizona lifted a quarantine that had been imposed after three horses shipped there from Sunland Park following the EHV-1 outbreak. Horsemen have been urged to abide strict biosecurity controls aimed at curbing the virus’ spread. During the racing commission’s special meeting Feb. 17 to discuss the outbreak and plans to resume racing, Sunland Park racing director Dustin Dix said the key to keeping the disease under control is containment.