Churchill Downs Racetrack has entered into an agreement with Australian-based company, Steriline Racing to design and construct a new custom-made, 20-stall starting gate that will be used for the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
A six-stall auxiliary starting gate (which attached to the 14-horse starting gate) was first used in 1942 and has been required 54 times for the Kentucky Derby within that period, including each of the last 22 years. That gate will no longer be necessary.
The new starting gate will be utilized exclusively for the Derby and will replace Churchill Downs’ standard starting gate, which will continue to be used for all other races.
The use of a 20-stall starting gate eliminates the wide gap between Post Position #14 in the standard gate and #15 in the auxiliary gate.
“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,” said Mike Ziegler, executive director of Racing for Churchill Downs Incorporated.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Australia’s Steriline Racing to supply this new starting gate at Churchill Downs.”
The new contiguous 20-stall starting gate, which is due to arrive in early April, is 65-feet wide and will fit comfortably within the 120-foot space on the racetrack at the quarter-mile pole for the start of the Kentucky Derby.
They have supplied racetrack equipment to hundreds of race clubs in Australia and have exported to more than 50 countries around the world including Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
“It has been great to working with the Churchill Downs team.” said Steriline Racing CEO John Fargher. “We are excited to be a part of the most famous race in all of America.”