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Old 06-30-2009, 10:51 PM   #1
tone3
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offset starting gates

Tioga Downs a 5/8ths track introduced an offset gate this past weekend. I have a couple questions.
Are offset gates denoted anywhere in a program? Do the gates have that much influence in a race?

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Old 07-01-2009, 01:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tone3
Tioga Downs a 5/8ths track introduced an offset gate this past weekend. I have a couple questions.
Are offset gates denoted anywhere in a program? Do the gates have that much influence in a race?

T.I.A.
Tone
Hey Tone, thx for the update at Tioga...I wasn't aware of the change to the newer slanted starting gate....I think and sincerely believe that all 1/2-mile and 5/8th's-mile harnes tracks should implement that change to their race starts....

The only tracks that I am aware of that use this type of starting gate is Chester Downs in Philly, and the Meadows in the Pittsburgh area....I'll bet there may be others, but they are tracks that I am not too familiar with...

The slanted starting gate does even up the odds a bit more for the outside horses, who are normally at at a much greater disadvantage, post position wise, at the start of the race....With the new gate, when the horses are getting up to speed in the moving-runup prior to the start, and as the gate draws nearer to the start, the starter-judge will start to cant the gate almost to a 45o angle at the official starting point... The gate will be at it's maximum offset angle at that point....This allows a well meant front running leaver type horse a chance to get into the mix earlier and as a result will or should be less taxed for his earlier trying efforts in the race....I seem do better at these two tracks, when betting ouside posts, than at some other smallish type tracks....When I have a live contender with early speed I will not hesitate as much, putting my money on the line, as in times past, or other tracks....It is not a cure-all for outside posts, but I think it does help in this regard...I like it....I am not sure what the specs are concerning how much better or worse the horses have been doing since the implementation of the off-set gate at those two tracks...I guess I should know that, but I don't....But, my perception is, that is does make a difference.....

Tioga Downs has done a "good thing"...Go Tioga, I will look more closely at that venue, as the outside posts are really at a disavantage at that particular track...It almost plays like a half miler....I wish the other small tracks would follow suit as, anything kinder to the bettor, when searching for winners, could only be a plus for the fans & the tracks, if they made the change....A "good and wise investment" for them, I think....

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Old 07-01-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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The Meadows increased the slant from a 7 foot slant to 14 foot slant in Feb.
Since then the ROI has changed dramatically.

The Meadows Old Gate Oct 10-Feb 8 ................New Slant Gate Feb 9-Jun 30

Code:
	
 
Post	Starts Wins	% Wins ROI		Starts Wins	% Wins ROI
PP1	 934	153	16%	-13%		1486	163	11%	-50%
PP2	 934	119	13%	-40%		1486	174	12%	-31%
PP3	 934	153	16%	 -2%		1486	157	11%	-38%
PP4	 934	137	15%	-17%		1486	226	15%	-19%
PP5	 934	145	16%	-23%		1486	227	15%	-13%
PP6	 932	92	 10%	-35%		1483	187	13%	-10%
PP7	 893	64	 7%	-26%		1431	143	10%	-29%
PP8	 796	48	 6%	-40%		1253	134	11%	-15%
PP9	 493	24	 5%	-49%		 812	 72	 9%	-11%
I don't have much data on Tioga but here are the numbers so far in 2009

Code:
Post	Starts Wins	 % Wins ROI
PP1	 317	45	14%	-37%
PP2	 317	54	17%	-13%
PP3	 317	35	11%	-50%
PP4	 317	55	17%	-18%
PP5	 317	42	13%	-20%
PP6	 316	35	11%	-42%
PP7	 294	28	10%	-32%
PP8	 253	11	 4%	-75%
PP9	 158	12	 8%	-67%
http://www.ustrotting.com/absolutenm...sp?a=30590&z=1
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tone3
Tioga Downs a 5/8ths track introduced an offset gate this past weekend. I have a couple questions.
Are offset gates denoted anywhere in a program? Do the gates have that much influence in a race?

T.I.A.
Tone
I've been in the harness racing industry for about 40 years. I remember one of the tracks in Chicago had a staggered starting gate years ago. I'm thinkin 1970's and i think it was at Maywood Park or might of even been Hawthorne race course? As i remember it kind of went away after while just like the single shaft sulky bike.

(In spring 2003 Chicago-based trainer Tom Harmer devised a sulky coined the "AdvantEdge 6.3" because it brings the horse 6.3 inches closer to the inside of the track, thus lowering the amount of ground a horse would have to travel over. In that same vein, "The Outlaw" appeared later in the year, being used by Dave Palone on most of his mounts at the Meadows in the fall of 2003. This sulky was developed by Ohio horseman Craig Stein. Both bikes are narrower than conventional sulkies, and both have the seat of the race bike moved over closer to the left side on the arch).

Getting back to staggered starting gates, the Meadowlands is experimenting with one also.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/28/sp...new-start.html


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Old 07-01-2009, 12:56 PM   #5
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Tioga is my home track.....

I find that inside through post 5 had a def. post advantage, coming into this weekend. I remember for the 1st few weeks, the 8 post didn't have ANY wins.

Here are results from this past weekend from Tioga....

Sunday
Post----Wins
2-------3
3-------2
4-------3
5-------1
6-------1
8-------1



Saturday
Post----Wins
1-------1
2-------2
3-------2
4-------2
5-------2
7-------1
9-------1




Friday
Post----Wins
2-------1
3-------1
4-------2
5-------1
6-------2
7-------2
8-------1






As it seems, Friday, the first date of implementation, that the post bias was evident. As Saturday and Sunday came around, seems as though the post bias was back to normal. It is def. something to keep tabs on later in the meet.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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Generally speaking. . .I would say that staggered starting gates are the NORM today in harness racing, rather than the exception.

There is also a staggered gate in which the starter has a control over the outer portion of the gate (via hydraulics) to make an adjustments as the horses are approaching the race start.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilderness
Generally speaking. . .I would say that staggered starting gates are the NORM today in harness racing, rather than the exception.

There is also a staggered gate in which the starter has a control over the outer portion of the gate (via hydraulics) to make an adjustments as the horses are approaching the race start.
That is the "gate" that I thought that was being referred to at Tioga....Many tracks have a slanted gate, but there are few, that I know of, that have the "adjustable in motion" one....

And, the "ROI's"for the outside horses, at The Meadows, are "very" interesting, indeed ....(Ray)

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaucap
Getting back to staggered starting gates, the Meadowlands is experimenting with one also.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/28/sp...new-start.html

That article is dated from May,1989.What was the actual result,if anyone knows?
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimesTheyRAChangin
That article is dated from May,1989.What was the actual result,if anyone knows?
The Meadowlands uses a somewhat staggered gate which allows the outside in may races to get away quicker than would be otherwise.

Gates went through drastic redesigns in the late 1990's.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:33 PM   #10
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This website; mobile starting gates offers more than 250 photo's of starting gates.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:59 PM   #11
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A good read on starting gates and the effect upon both horse and driver (as well as tactics) is explained with great detail by John Campbell in the USTA's NEW Care and Training of the Trotter and Pacer.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilderness
A good read on starting gates and the effect upon both horse and driver (as well as tactics) is explained with great detail by John Campbell in the USTA's NEW Care and Training of the Trotter and Pacer.
I have that book only it's a bit dated, like 196?,...Campbell, was just a lad back then....

And, Don, thx for the other stuff, we can always count on You and Ray, for good Harness-Info....

best,
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LottaKash
I have that book only it's a bit dated, like 196?,...Campbell, was just a lad back then....

best,
Lotta,
There's two versions of the book; old (1968-69), New (1996).

The 1996 has Campbell in the drivers chapter.
The 1968 has Billy Haughton in the drivers chapter.

Both are good reads, personally I find the older book more enjoyable.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:00 PM   #14
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Lotta,
Both the Old & New versions of the book offer excellent reference.
Here's a thread on the Barn to Wire forum in which a person inquired about the feasability of using flip-flop shoes on the rear feet of a Standardbred.

flip-flops did not exist in the 1960's, however the older version of the Care and Training offered some nice reference to the "frog of the foot", which is what the flip-flop is all about.
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