And they’re off!After 118 consecutive seasons of thoroughbred horse racing on the property where Northlands Park now sits dormant, other than a planned Olympic qualifying beach volleyball event, it’s an entirely new beginning at the new racetrack at what they’re now calling Airport City.But who will have to make the biggest adjustments Sunday when they go to the post for the first time at Century Mile, the first mile-long track west of Woodbine?The horses?The jockeys?Or the fans?When they load the starting gates for the first time at 1:45 p.m. Sunday at the track built between the Red Tail Landing golf course, Edmonton International Airport, the new outlet mall and other new enterprises popping up on the property, it’ll be a major adjustment for all.For the fans, of course, there will be the distant drive out of the city. And there also will be the adjustment to a ‘Racino’ environment.Century Mile is not your traditional old time racetrack. The grandstand is so small it’s almost non-existent. And the seating is not your typical tiered clubhouse style, but more restaurant-like with the focus on an abundance of video boards more than gazing out on the track.Essentially constructed on top of the sprawling casino floor, there’s also concern how the track might handle a significant sized crowd like the Canadian Derby.But the biggest adjustment will almost certainly be going from a five-eighth mile bullring to a major league mile track.With a bullring, you’re right on top of the action and the horses go past the grandstand two or three times a race. And as a rule, there’s more action.On the other hand, everything is tied into the casino take and the simulcast betting. If the casino does well and the track is showcased in more Las Vegas sports books and other off track betting set-ups, both the horse population and the purses are expected to increase dramatically. And that would likely result in an increased horse population and higher quality of horse.When it comes to the horses and the jockeys, it’s a different deal.Being that Mr. Ed isn’t entered on opening day, there are no quotes available from any of the ponies. But the rest of the cast has been on the property training for a month.Shannon Beauregard is entering her 17th season riding in Edmonton, but she went down south for some Cactus League spring training, if you will, to prepare for the new challenge back home.“I’ve been riding at Turf Paradise in Phoenix at the mile track all winter. There definitely is a difference,” she said.“It’s a long lane to the finish. Jockeys are going to have to learn to be more patient and not pull the trigger too early or you’ll end up empty down the lane.”This one might just have the longest lane of them all.“Century Mile has longer straightaways because it has tighter, sharper turns,” she said.“When it comes to some of the bigger horses, I’ve often thought ‘Gee, I’d like to ride this horse on a bigger track.’ Because they’re so big, all the turns were hard on their bodies physically. And they might just be getting into their stride on the bullring while here there’s still quite a ways to the wire. It’ll be good for some horses and some horses it won’t suit quite as much.”Robertino Diodoro, the Alberta born and Northlands raised trainer of four Canadian Derby winners, basically left here to get away from the bullring and go to Churchill Downs and other major tracks so he could train top horses.While he comes back every August with a half dozen horses, he’ll be an interested observer.“One of the differences between a mile track and a bullring, I always say, is that on a mile track the best horse usually wins.“On a bullring, I’ve seen a lot of good horses get beat. They can’t handle the turns or the lane is too short for them. You can get hung three or four wide on a mile track and still win. If you get hung three or four wide on a bullring, your chances of winning the race are slim.“It’s going to be better for the horsemen overall and I definitely think it’s going to be better for the riders and the bettors,” he said.“It’s an adjustment for every rider,” said jockey agent Bob Fowlis.“For one thing I don’t think they’ll have to send away from the gate as hard to get position because the mile track is a lot more involved with finishing in positioning going down the lane,” he said of the home stretch that goes from being one eighth of a mile drag race to one quarter of a mile run.“I think the riders are going to have to be much more fit as well as the horses because your lane down the home stretch is double the length and they’re going to have to be much more patient.“On a bullring, a lot of those races are won on the last turn and then you have a pretty short lane. Here, the riders are going to have to be a lot more patient but they’re going to have to be very fit to finish strongly.”It’s going to be a test for Journal racing writer Don ‘Buckets’ Fleming’s old punter pals, Shudda Haddim and Willie Ketchem, to figure all that out when they get to the betting windows.