What is a furlong in horse racing?

A furlong is one-eighth of a mile and is a hand-me-down from the days when horse racing was a sport for English royalty.
In thoroughbred racing, races can be as short as 2 furlongs up to 2 miles, or 16 furlongs. That’s pretty rare, though, and 12 furlongs is the most-common marathon distance.

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