The Maryland Department of Agriculture today lifted the hold order on Barn 6 at Pimlico Race Course after 33 of the 35 horses in the barn tested negative for equine herpes virus.
Two horses from Barn 6 did not clear the testing process and are being isolated in Barn 8, the Detention barn. The horses in Barn 6 will be allowed to begin training with the rest of the horse population on Friday morning and to race at Laurel Park beginning Feb. 15. Horses in Barn 6 have been prohibited from mixing with the general horse population since the Department of Agriculture placed a hold order on the barn Jan. 13.
"This is positive news and another sign that we are turning the corner at Pimlico," state veterinarian Dr. Guy Hohenhaus said in a release.
On Tuesday, Barns 5 and 8 at Pimlico were cleared when all of the 43 horses in those barns tested negative for the virus. Six of the horses in Barn 8 were isolated from Barn 5 when they showed symptoms of the virus. The other two were relocated from Barn 6. All eight have been returned to their normal barns.
Yesterday, the Maryland Jockey Club lifted its quarantine on Pimlico, allowing horses to compete at Laurel Park for the first time since Jan. 21. Three of the 12 Pimlico-based horses won races and seven finished in the money.
One barn at Pimlico remains under a hold order. The Department Of Agriculture plans on taking nasal swabs on the horses stabled in Barn A next week to determine if the virus is present.
One barn at Laurel Park remains under a hold order through Feb 16. A filly was euthanized at the track on Jan. 26, but since then none of the more than 900 horses stabled there have shown symptoms of the virus.
There have been no outbreaks at Bowie, where approximately 600 horses are stabled.
Originally published February 9, 2006, 1:29 PM EST