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 Race of the Week:  Kentucky Oaks and Derby Cards - Final Figures Churchill Downs, 4-5 September 2020 
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Re: KY Downs (322 Views)
Posted by: richiebee (IP Logged)
Date: September 08, 2020 10:59AM

Hey Grinder sorry for the late response.

At my advanced age I fear that "several thousand races" might be an
underestimate but no worries.

Jennie Rees, spokesperson for Kentucky Downs (and longtime racing writer for
the Louisville Courier Journal), issued a statement that the botched start was
the result of mechanical error. I do not know if the decision that the race be
declared no contest with all wagers refunded was a stewards decision or a
Kentucky rule, but it seems like the fairest decision given the circumstances.

There are of course a number of things that can go wrong in the gate. I guess
the most common is the scenario where some but not all gates open. You have
assistant starters who have too tight a hold on a runner's head when the gate

The optics on the Monday incident were interesting. There were two runners
behind the gate. When the gates opened the assistant starter of one of the
horses that was not loaded threw his arms up in a "WTF?" gesture. The other
unloaded runner was not even facing the starting gate and as I recall may still
have been with its lead pony.

But the strangest gate incident in the probably hundreds of thousands races I
have watched happened at Oaklawn in the late 1970s. At one point (I do not know
if it was just for their end of meet Racing Festival), the Budweiser ClydesdalesTM
were brought in to pull the starting gate. In one instance after the start of a
two turn race, the team of Clydesdales refused to budge and the gate sat
precariously in front of the grandstand while the runners raced down the
backside. Finally one of the assistant starters or Clydesdale handlers was able
to get the team of huge stone eyed beasts to pull the gate safely into the
infield and a sticky situation was avoided.

Subject Written By Posted
KY Downs (503 Views) richiebee 09/07/2020 10:55AM
Re: KY Downs (412 Views) grinder 09/07/2020 03:42PM
Re: KY Downs (357 Views) Caradoc 09/08/2020 06:52AM
Re: KY Downs (257 Views) Socalman3 09/09/2020 12:21AM
Re: KY Downs (230 Views) Rich Curtis 09/09/2020 09:28AM
Re: KY Downs (322 Views) richiebee 09/08/2020 10:59AM
Re: KY Downs (336 Views) TGJB 09/08/2020 11:43AM
Re: KY Downs (273 Views) johnnym 09/08/2020 12:19PM
Re: KY Downs (270 Views) milwmike 09/08/2020 12:32PM
Re: KY Downs (396 Views) TGJB 09/08/2020 12:58PM
Re: KY Downs (316 Views) richiebee 09/08/2020 01:14PM
Re: KY Downs (276 Views) johnnym 09/08/2020 01:54PM

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