Shortly before 6:20 tomorrow evening, nine horses and jockeys will head towards the starting gate at Pimlico Race Course. The noise of more than 100,000 people will accompany them as they step into small metal stalls, standing patiently until the gates are sprung and they take their first strides in an attempt to win the 138th Preakness Stakes.
Other than the men on the horses’ backs, the success of the race may depend on no one more than the men on the Pimlico gate crew, whose job it is to ensure that all nine horses get off to a swift, safe, and fair start.
Assistant starter Chris Campitelli has been around the racetrack his whole life; both of his parents are trainers, and he appeared in his first win picture when he was two weeks old. He’ s one of the men who will lead a Preakness starter into the gate.
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