Turfway Park announced Aug. 8 the promotion of long-time assistant starter Larry McGlasson to the position of starter. The promotion was effective July 10.
McGlasson, 61, replaces Steve Peterman, who was Turfway's starter for seven years before moving to Calder Casino & Race Course in Florida.
As starter, McGlasson is responsible for supervising the gate crew as they load horses into the starting gate before each race. Once satisfied that all horses are standing straight and facing forward, the starter's job is to spring the magnetic latches on the stalls to start the race. Before every race, he checks a database of comments from starters around the country, looking for reports of troublesome behavior by horses his crew will be handling.
"This is a 'we' process. A starter's only as good as the guys working with him," said McGlasson. "An assistant starter's ability to understand a horse's body language and react to it instantaneously is crucial to safety and a fair start."
McGlasson supervises schooling in the gate at Turfway Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., for about 30 horses per day on average.