For those of you who are Standardbred people, can you tell me why during the races, the gate car follows alongside the field? I watch TVG sometimes and the car is always following the horses. I just wonder why the driver does not just pull off to the side after the field has started.
Several reasons: another pair of eyes to watch the field, a large highly visible object with a loudspeaker and flashing lights in case of an accident, pulling off to the side is not always a viable option, many tracks don't have patrol judges now just cameras, communication of things to judges and announcer if need be and they do have to back to the only open draw gate to start the next race.
In western Canada, the starting gate quit pulling over and following the field after a horrible wreck on a muddy day. The driver pulled over to stop in the far chute and the tires lost purchase; truck was sucked into the outside fence, and the top rail holding the chain link went right through the windshield, the back window and the starter's cab. Had I been in there like I was supposed to be, I would not be typing this - went right through where I would have been sitting.
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