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Belmont Park lifts quarantine after equine infectious disease test comes back negative

An empty barn at Belmont Park on June

An empty barn at Belmont Park on June 4, 2012. Credit: AP/Mark Lennihan

It was a false alarm on a suspected equine infectious disease at Belmont Park.

The New York Racing Association and the state’s Gaming Commission on Sunday lifted a precautionary quarantine placed on Barn 37 after Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) tests came back negative on Freudnme.

The 4-year-old colt exhibited fever and neurological symptoms on Saturday morning and, as a result, all 37 horses at Barn 37 were put under quarantine and monitored for fever and other symptoms.

None of the 36 other horses have exhibited any symptoms.

All horses stabled in Barn 37, including Freudnme, are again free to enter races and train among the general thoroughbred population at Belmont.

Freudnme underwent polymerase chain reaction tests which came back negative. The bloodwork was performed at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Freudnme last raced at Finger Lakes Racetrack on Wednesday, finishing second in the Ontario County Stakes.

NYRA reported the Chris Englehart-trained New York-bred colt exhibited fever and neurological symptoms on Saturday morning and immediately began veterinary treatments.

Freudnme remains under private veterinary care and is still being monitored.

Horses with EHV-1 can develop neurological and respiratory issues and the disease can lead to abortions and neonatal deaths. The neurological symptoms can also be fatal.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced NYRA to delay its spring/summer meet at Belmont until June 3 after the remainder of the winter meet at Aqueduct was canceled on March 15. No fans or owners are being allowed at Belmont. That included the spring/summer meet’s marquee event, the 152nd running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 20. Heavy favorite Tiz the Law dominated the 1 1/8-mile first leg of the Triple Crown, becoming the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont Stakes since 1882.

NYRA’s 40-day summer meet at Saratoga Race Course is scheduled to begin on July 16. No fans or owners will be allowed at that bucolic track to start the meet but those conditions may relax based on state guidelines.

New York Sports