Archive for the Distance Category

Apr 16 2013

From Furlongs to Ovals – How Distances Vary by Racetrack

In an earlier article (What’s a Furlong?) we defined the standard measure of distance in Horse Racing as a furlong.  But, how does that furlong translate into races on an actual race track?  The first thing you have to realize is that it varies by race track.  While the vast majority of race tracks in North America are oval in shape, they are not all the same size, nor the same configuration.  It’s kind of like the difference in Major League Baseball parks.  Some have a short fence, while others have a big green wall.  The number of feet to left, center, and right fields vary.  Some ballparks have grass, while others have artificial turf.  Many similar variations occur in horse racing.

Apr 7 2013

What’s a Furlong?

The standard unit of measure for distance in horse racing is a furlong.

One furlong equals 1/8 of a mile.

Or, put another way, there are 8 furlongs in a mile.  Races under one mile are expressed in terms of the number of furlongs.  For example, a race that measures 3/4 of a mile, is listed as being 6 furlongs in the racing program.  The following diagram demonstrates the translation from furlongs to fraction of a mile.