Track plans to isolate new horses that are shipped to the facility for 48 hours

The quarantine at Turf Paradise is expected to be lifted Thursday and racetrack officials will initiate a new safety protocol for horses brought to the facility, a Turf Paradise official said.

Turf Paradise was put under a mandatory 21-day quarantine at the end of December after a horse shipped from New Mexico was diagnosed with Equine Herpes Virus and euthanized.

The state veterinarian will determine if the quarantine will be lifted as expected Thursday, Vincent Francia of Turf Paradise said. Francia, the general manager, said Wednesday horses shipped to the racetrack after the quarantine is lifted will be required to be isolated from the main stalls for 48 hours. Blood tests and nasal swabs will be taken to determine if the horses are healthy, he said.

Horses on the property have tested negative for the virus, including two other horses from New Mexico, Francia said. The owners of the horses from New Mexico will be asked to remove them from the property once the quarantine is lifted this week, he said.

Officials from the state Department of Agriculture, which will decide whether the quarantine is lifted, declined comment late Wednesday.

Update: The Department on Thursday lifted the quarantine at Turf Paradise, saying track official’s work prevented an outbreak.

“While these restrictions seem severe, they were absolutely necessary and, as intended, successful,” said Mark Killian, director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture. The quarantine had been in place since Jan. 28.