There are many things involving the starting gate, and the people who work on it, so I will probably have to break down gate posts into a lot of different smaller posts. Hopefully I will find a decent picture of a gate that I can upload also.

The gate itself might seem like there isn`t much to it, but actually It has quite a few things that are interesting.  The gate is usually driven around by a tractor or sometimes a truck, the type is determined by whoever the track has an agreement with.  Sometime I will try to ask a few of the people I know in charge of driving the gate around which they prefer and maybe have a discussion on it.

One neat aspect of the gate is, that the truck isn`t the only thing that is involved in steering it around.  There is another steering wheel on the back of the gate, that helps to position it on the track.  On any given day a racetrack has between 8 and 12 races, so being able to move it easily is a plus.  Now before you go getting all excited about riding on the gate, YOU CAN`T!.  The only person allowed on the gate when it moves is the guy in charge of steering it from the back.  This is mainly due to safety issues.

So once we got the gate all parked, it`s time to discuss some of the other features.   The gate itself comes in a few different lengths 12 and 14 stalls are the main ones used.  On top of each stall is a kind of space for a number, not a number but an empty slot.  The reason it is an empty slot instead of a number is that sometimes there are more than 1 of a number.  For example 1, 1a 1x(I will try to get into that on another post) so it is easier to not have a set number above each stall and the slot makes that perfect.  The slot itself is just like a case to your phone, nothing fancy just a place to slide in a tile with numbers written on it so people can see.

Also each stall has a few unique things.  Of course 2 small doors in the front to keep the horse from starting the race ahead of time, and 2 “backup” doors.  To keep the horse from going backwards.  Also some gates feature pontoons.  They are basically a place for the assistant starter to stand on when he leads the horse into the gate.  Not all gates have this feature.  There are a few other features on every gate but they will be discussed in other posts.

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