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Peterman joins Turfway as official starter

Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . June 15, 2006 . . . Turfway Park has hired Stephen J. Peterman as the track's official starter and summer stabling manager, a new full-time position created to reflect the addition of year-round training to the track's seasonal live racing schedule. Turfway opened its facility for year-round training this summer. Peterman will begin his new duties June 24.

Peterman comes to Turfway from Churchill Downs, where he has been the lead assistant starter since 1987. He also has served as Keeneland's assistant starter since 1987 and added similar duties at the Ellis Park meet beginning in 1993. He previously worked as assistant starter at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and Fairmount Park in Illinois.

"We are pleased to bring Steve on board," said Turfway Park President Robert N. Elliston. "His years of experience on the Kentucky circuit have allowed him to build excellent relationships with horsemen and track management, and we look forward to having him bring those skills to Turfway."

A racetrack's official starter determines the safest and fairest moment to open the gate at the beginning of each race, based on direct observation of the horses' behavior as they stand in the gate stalls. The starter also certifies beforehand that horses have proven their ability to load and stand quietly in the starting gate and to break cleanly from it, and he or she works directly with trainers to ensure their horses' readiness. The starter also manages the track's gate crew during live racing.


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