Let’s say it’s your job to pull the starting gate to where it needs to be for a horse race. How do you know where to put it? Actually, I have three questions related to this:
The position of the gate has to be marked somehow on the track. Obviously it isn’t in the dirt or turf itself, so I assume that there are some sort of marks on the rails that they line the gate up with. Is this how they do it? How accurately do they get it down? For example, the Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 mile, or 6600 feet. Might it be 6599 feet one year and 6601 feet in another or is it more accurately placed than that?
Back to that 1 1/4 mile- how is that measured? Is it equivalent to running a tape measure along the inside of the rail? Or do they take into account of where the longitudinal center of the horse will be that runs on the rail and figure it so he runs exactly 1 1/4 mile.
Sometimes you see the starting gates placed with the outside gate a little ahead of the inside gate. Is this placed so that the outside horse and the inside horse have the same distance to travel the same distance to some point on the rail and where would that point be?