Officials from Churchill Downs Inc. traveled to Great Britain last week to look into the possibility of doing away with the two-starting gate system now used for the Kentucky Derby, spokesman Darren Rogers told Horse Racing Nation.
Rogers said he had no more information to reveal at this time but confirmed to the website that officials did visit the Ebor Festival of races at York Racecourse to “explore the feasibility of an expanded starting gate.” York uses one starting gate that can hold up to 24 horses.
Some observers have criticized Churchill Downs for having a 20-horse field in the Derby in the first place but also for employing one 14-horse main gate and a six-horse auxiliary gate with a gap in between. Collisions have occurred at that gap during the start partially due to the way the gates are positioned.
After this year's Derby in which Maximum Security was disqualified, his owner Gary West said Churchill Downs was “greedy” for allowing more than 14 horses in the Derby field.
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