Despite being closed for nearly two weeks, Hawthorne Race Course remains under a quarantine resulting from cases of EHV-1 that germinated on the Hawthorne backstretch. With no news being good news, the quarantine was originally tabbed to end on January 10th.
Not quite yet, says Dr. Dawn Folker-Calderon. According to her, after a non-fatal case in the Bradlee Rainwater barn, the 21-day retroactivity of the quarantine was added on and the quarantine is slated to end on January 12.
Such an end to the quarantine comes at a fortunate time. Hawthorne closed its main track for morning training on January 1 and is slated to reopen it on January 15. The 2013 Hawthorne Spring meets opens exactly a month later.
However, one early sign of the difference is a press release from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, including Dr. Folker-Calderon. The most notable change is in the first item, requiring valid health certificates for horses within five days of entry in to the backstretch population. In the past, the window was ten days.
But that change is the only change on the docket. According to Folker-Calderon, it's otherwise business as usual. Those last three words are pleasant words many want to hear on the backstretch and front stretch.