More on Starting Gates: Old Timers Offer Their Versions of Early Barrier History, Daily Racing Form, 1922-10-29


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i MORE ON STARTING GATES Old Timers Offer Their Versions of Early Barrier History. Recent Article Disputed In Several Particulars by Men Who Played a Tart In Introducing Machines in America. The recently published story of the origin of the starting gate in this country has stirred up a few of the old timers, who have their own versions of jus how the starting gate came to America. These are given for what they are worth. Phil Mc-Ginnis, whose gate is in use at various tracks, has to say: Laurel, Md October 14. Editor Daily Racing Form. Dear Sir: Kindly permit me to point out what I consider important features overlooked in your article on "Origin of Starting Gate," in todays issue of Daily Racing Form. The Forbes and not the Ryan machine was first on the ground and the first apparatus granted a patent in the United States. This apparatus was exhibited on the old Brighton Beach race course, about the five and a half furlong post, some years before the Ryan scheme was ever heard of. The writer is not aware of any races having been started with it, but he is quite certain it was given trials in schooling horses, but only as a novelty, because there was no demand for such a device, and the Australian gate at that time was not in existence, so far as the American public was aware, from the fact that no mention of a device had been made publicly in Australia or anywhere else. The Forbes apparatus was simply a copy of a railway crossing gate and was too slow to be. of any practical use. Some years later came the report of one Lopez bringing an apparatus from Australia to San Francisco, where it was given a trial, quite successfully. No word of Ryan so far. The following spring there were a number of machines exhibited at the old Gravesend track, among them being tho Australian, brought there by starter Caldwell. There was also the Dill and the Ryan machines, both built on a different principle. The McGinnis machine was not exhibited, although it was set up in Brooklyn at that time and taken to Brighton Beach for a trial a few weeks later. None of the machines shown at Graves-end was ever successfully used on the New York tracks. The McGinnis machisJ won the approval of the New York Jockey Club and was its official machine until the resignation of C. J. Fitz Gerald, who used it all through his starting career on the New York circuit. The premier starters of America, Dade, Milton and Morrissey, all use it, and the work of these experts attest the confidence they place in this apparatus. All Kentucky Jockey Club tracks use it. The Maryland tracks use it. The Canadian Racing Associations use it and . all approve it without reservation. Very truly yours, PHIL McGIXNIS. Another interesting version that comes from one who should know is: Racing Form had a short article in its columns a few days ago headed Continved on eighth page.

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