Re: AP *1M 1/16 distance--TG

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Posted by Mark O'Keeffe on May 16, 2001 at 21:12:41:

In Reply to: Re: AP *1M 1/16 distance--TG posted by TGJB on May 16, 2001 at 20:01:16:

: : Hopefully with your (meaning TG) data on the run-up distance/etc., can you explain why the Abt 8.5F races at AP are consistently so pedestrian?

: : Off the top of my head, I'd say that are somewhere in the area of at least 4 full seconds off what a normal 8.5F race would be timed in.

: : Is there a general number that the "correct" distance is more like 8.7F or what??? Even though the actual run-up may change from race to race, knowing 8.7F VS 8.5F would STILL help...

: : I would have the same question for FG 7.5F turf races, that often feature :25 :48 type pace splits, the downhill sprints at SA, *9F at FPX, Florida grass races out of the chutes, and TIM with those *6.5F races that go in 1:20-ish type times...

: : I don't understand why tracks run races at odd distances, and also why there are no splits for the HIA grass races...?

: : Any data you could share on the ACTUAL distance of those races or how to find out about them on my own would be appreciated.

: TG--Can't tell you why tracks run them, but "about" means not exactly that distance. At Arlington it's usually the only 2-turn race they run, so I don't tie it to the other races anyway (as discussed here before). I also don't tie downhill 1-turn races to grass routes. At Timonium you get lots of those 2-turn 6-1/2 races, so you compare them to each other. Very slow early fractions are usually a function of very short run-ups. (see Pim 6f.) TGJB

If I might humbly interject something at this juncture regarding the about distances.
There are at least two reasons for the about distances and they are both related to the preservation of the turf course.
First: the gate is put in place by a tractor. Both gate and tractor are heavy and have wheels which leave huge indentations on the turf. Some tracks like Pimlico use large boards which they place under the wheels to preserve the turf. But Pimlico runs exact distances. The tracks that run about distances usually have a variable rail placement which is used to preserve the turf course. At Atlantic City, the meet opened with the rails out about 10 ft. The races all were at "about" distances. Now the rails are down, they race along the hedge and the distances are exact.
Gate placement for about distances can vary. In order to avoid the tractor indentations, the gate may be placed either in front of or in back of those indentations. Most Race tracks stick to a regement of gate placement in that regard.
I speak from a landscaping and race track backround. Hope this helps.

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