starting gate

any of various types of movable barriers for lining up and giving an equal start to the entries in a horse or dog race.

1895–1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
starting gate
1.  a movable barrier so placed on the starting line of a racecourse that the raising of it releases all the contestants simultaneously
2.  the US name for starting stalls

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
Everyone is running out of the starting gate with their green idea without
  cradle to grave calculations.
The park lightly maintains the track, which also has a starting gate.
Now imagine being loaded into a starting gate alongside the best thoroughbreds
  in the land.
The track is groomed and watered, and has a starting gate.
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