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New Meadows Starting Gate

Published: February 17, 2009 10:05 am ET

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The Meadows has introduced a new starting gate with a deeper slant that will mitigate the disadvantages of an unfavourable draw by bringing horses posted outside closer to the gate at the start than those posted inside.

The track, which had been using a gate with a seven-foot slant, replaced it with a unit featuring a 14-foot slant. That means a horse with Post 9 could be as much as 14 feet closer to the gate at the start than a horse leaving from Post 1.

David Wiegmann, acting general manager for the Meadows, said the new gate was produced by Howard Starting Gate Co. to the same specifications as the gate used at Chester Downs which, as the Meadows, is a five-eighths mile track.

“The experience at Harrah’s Chester tells us that the new gate will be well received by horsemen and patrons alike,” Wiegmann said. “It should enable more horses with outside draws to get involved in the race and be more competitive. That will yield more exciting racing and better payoffs.”

The Meadows introduced the new gate on Monday, February 9. Although the gate has been in action for only a few cards, Kim Hankins, executive director of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, said he has observed more horses leaving from outside post positions.

“It should help spread the fields a bit more,” Hankins said. “Horses on the outside won’t be hindered so much.”

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