The Gate Crew - behind-the-scenes but in full view

On Blue Grass Day in 2008, roughly 26,000 people in the stands went crazy as Visionaire, the last to load into the starting gate, took his place in the lineup. When the doors shut behind him, it was the signal that the feature race of Keeneland’s spring meet was only seconds away, and the crowd cheered, wild with anticipation. Everything fell perfectly into place, and head starter Robert “Spec” Alexander released the field: the shrill clang and sharp burst of the metal gate springing open gets the blood flowing like no other thrill associated with horseracing.

Frances J Karon
 (14 October 2008 - Issue Number 10)