Mid-Atlantic shippers Smooth B and Old Time Revival both scratched from Saturday's $150,000 Jerome Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct due to the case of equine herpesvirus at Belmont Park that has forced one barn at that track to be placed under quarantine.
Smooth B, trained by Butch Reid, is based at Parx in Bensalem, Pa. That track is not permitting horses from either Belmont or Aqueduct to ship into Parx. Further, any horse that would ship in from Parx to race at Aqueduct would not be allowed to return until the quarantine at Belmont is lifted.
Reid said he went through a quarantine situation at Parx last year and and "it was a nigthmare. I'm not getting anywhere near New York for the foreseeable future."
Old Time Revival, trained by Ken Decker, is based at Luarel Park. That Maryland track is not permitting horses based at Belmont to ship into Laurel. It has not, however, specifically stated that it would not accept horses who are based at or who ship into Aqueduct to go to Laurel.
"I got some mixed responses about race and return," Decker said."Some said I could go and come back, others said I could go but could not come back until the quarantine is lifted. At this point, it's too risky. We'll regroup and get ready for the next one and hopefully they'll have everything cleaned up."
On Tuesday, a horse trained by Linda Rice tested positive for the equine herpesvirus. Though the horse does not show any neurological symptoms, he has been isolated in a separate barn on the Belmont backstretch. Further, barn 44, which houses horses trained by Linda Rice and David Duggan has been placed under quarantine.
The scratches reduced the Jerome field to six horses with Firenze Fire, the Grade 1 Champagne winner, likely to go off an odds-on choice.