Guardian at the Gate: Ian Ross

For every thoroughbred race run on the Woodbine calendar, Ian Ross is a study in concentration, a man dialed-in on the task at hand, a calming influence amid the kaleidoscope of colours and constant chatter. In the moments leading up to the horses and jockeys making their way to the starting gate at the Toronto oval, a plan has already been put in place, a well-orchestrated strategy in concert with those who comprise the gate crew. Before the drama plays out within the race, the man calling the shots does everything in his control to ensure there’s no trace of it during his watch. “Every race is a challenge,” admitted the 56-year-old Ross. “And every race is different. I’m the type of person that takes things to heart. So, if something does go wrong, it tears my guts out. There is so much unpredictability at the start of a race.…

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