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Prairie Meadows News and Notes

EHV-1 Restrictions Lifted

Prairie Meadows has eased off of restrictions put in place to protect the horse population from the spread of the EHV-1, the equine herpes virus, effective May 10th.  The protocols were implemented on April 18 after several horses tested positive for the virus at Fonner Park in Nebraska where many horses race before moving to the Altoona, IA oval for the summer.

“Barns that were placed under restriction will be able to resume their normal operations and schedules in the stable area and on the race track,” said Dr. John Sweeney, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission State Veterinarian at Prairie Meadows.

“Trainers can enter horses that were on restriction in races now,” Sweeney added. “We took proactive and aggressive action when we implemented the additional protocols and we are confident that it was the right decision given the situation last month.”

“Prairie Meadows never had any horse test positive for EHV-1 or show any symptoms of the virus,” Sweeney said. “Starting May 17, we will allow horses from Fonner Park and Nebraska into our stable area.”

New Claiming Rules

On May 4, Iowa joined a handful of states including New York, California and Arkansas that will void claims if a claimed horse suffers a catastrophic breakdown during the race it is claimed in or comes back lame.

The new regulations state that  a claim shall be voided if the horse “suffers a fatality during the race, dies or is euthanized before leaving the track”.

Additionally, the claim can be voided if the racing commission veterinarian determines that the horse in question is going to be put on the vet’s list as unsound or lame.  However, the claimants will have the ability to designate on the claim slip that they will accept the horse even if it comes back from the race and must be put on the vet’s list.

Meet Leaders


Ramon Vazquez        14 wins

Alex Birzer                 12

Shane Laviolette       11

Alex Canchari            11

Sasha Risenhoover   10

Canchari is scheduled to move his tack to Canterbury Park later this week and will have a pair of live mounts in the opening weekend stakes there.


Karl Broberg                      11 wins

Frederico Villafranco       10

Kenny Smith                      10

Robertino Diodoro             8

Jon Arnett                            4

Thoughts and prayers go out to Broberg and his family after a terrible mishap involving his wife, Samantha.  Security footage from the Carnival Liberty spotted her falling over the side several days ago as the Coast Guard search heads into its third day 200 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas.

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