LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new custom-made 20-stall starting gate will be making its debut at Churchill Downs in time for the 146th Kentucky Derby.
The new starting gate, designed and constructed by Australian-based company Steriline Racing, will be used exclusively for the Kentucky Derby and will replace Churchill Downs’ standard starting gate. The standard gate will continue to be used for all other races at the track.
“We believe that a new custom-made, 20-stall starting gate will deliver a clean start for all horses and enhance safety for horses and riders in the Kentucky Derby,” Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of Racing for Churchill Downs Incorporated said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to partner with Australia’s Steriline Racing to supply this new starting gate at Churchill Downs.”
Churchill Downs’ standard starting gate, used since 1941, holds 14 horses. It has had an extra starting gate attachment, first used in 1942, that allowed placement for up to 20 horses. The current setup has been used 54 times for the Kentucky Derby, including the past 22 years.
The new 65-foot wide gate is scheduled to arrive at the track in early April.