A barn at Belmont Park housing mostly horses trained by Linda Rice was placed under quarantine Wednesday after an unraced 3-year-old trained by Rice tested positive for the equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) on Tuesday, according to the New York Racing Association.
The unnamed male horse in question does not show any neurological symptoms of the virus, according to NYRA. Last week, the horse was sent to the Cornell Ruffian Equine Hospital across the street from Belmont, after developing a fever and a mild respiratory issue. He is expected to be released from the hospital by the end of the week and will be put in isolation at an empty barn on the Belmont backside. He will be re-tested next week.
Until such time as that horse is deemed healthy, the 40 horses Rice has in barn 44 will not be able to race. Beginning Thursday, those horses will have to train after the remainder of the horses on the grounds have completed training and are back in their barns. Training at Belmont typically ends at 10:30 a.m.
Trainer David Duggan confirmed he has six horses in that barn and those horses are under the same restrictions.
Rice said Wednesday that she had all of her horses vaccinated for EHV-1 in early December.
The horses in barn 44 will be monitored daily for fever and other signs of illness. Thus far, all horses in that barn, who may have been exposed to the affected horse, are considered to be afebrile and asymptomatic, according to NYRA.
The quarantine will force Rice to scratch four horses from Friday’s Aqueduct card including Holiday Disguise from the La Verdad Stakes. Rice will also be forced to scratch morning-line favorites Vilma (race 1) and Acquainted (race 7) as well as Cocktail Countess (morning-line second choice in race 2).
Rice has some horses in barn 45 at Belmont and she has 40 horses stabled at Aqueduct. Those horses will be permitted to race including Polar Jet, who is entered in Thursday’s eighth race, and Breezy Gal and Scorpion Bowl, both entered in Friday’s ninth race. Rice does not have any horses entered for Saturday’s card.
In 2017, Rice was the third-leading trainer on the NYRA circuit in wins with 113 and third in starts with 501. At the Aqueduct fall meet, which ran Nov. 3 through Dec. 31, she was the second-leading trainer in wins with 26 from 95 starters.