Jun 30, 2008

Randwick Racecourse

I decided to take a trip (albeit a virtual one) to one of Australia´s racecourses. I noticed that these tend to be bigger than the ones in the Americas, and also that the shapes are not the classic oval. This one in Sydney, for example, is almost square-shaped right hand course, though the near turn is sharper near the finish line, so it is trapezoidal really. This track has a 2200 meter circumference, and has chutes for 1000m races (doubling as the 3200m chute), 1200m, 1400m and 1600m. The four chutes are located along the backstretch. 1800m and 2000m races start on the turn.

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Jun 27, 2008

Yellowstone Downs

Look how small this track is! Just four furlongs or about 800 metres around! It is used for different breeds, but for thoroughbreds the two distances run here are 5 and 1/4 furlongs (using the chute on the stretch) and 7 furlongs (starting on the chute on the backstretch and then going around a second time).

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Jun 26, 2008

Santa Anita Racetrack

This classic west coast oval has it all: the dirt oval with a special chute, the inner turf, and the famous downhill 6 1/2 furlong turf course, that starts straight, takes a right and then makes a sweeping left hand turn, crosses over the dirt track and finishes. The dirt oval measures around a mile and the grass oval a little over 7 furlongs. The track has one dirt chute for 7 furlong races and another one for 10 furlong races.

The most usual distances are 6 to 7 furlongs, 1 1/16 miles and 1 1/8 miles over the dirt and 1 mile, 1 1/8 mile and 6 1/2 furlongs (almost) on the turf course.

North America´s longest turf race, the San Juan Capistrano Handicap, is run here over a distance of almost 1 3/4 miles. The race starts at the top of the downhill turf course and then the horses go around one extra time around the turf oval.

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