During an unprecedented year in sports around the world, for the first time in history, Belmont Stakes 2020 will be the first leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. Coverage begins on Saturday at 2:45 pm ET on NBC.
Usually the last of the three races, the Belmont Stakes was moved from Saturday, June 6 to Saturday, June 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The distance was shortened from 1 1/2-miles (12 furlongs) to 1 1/8-miles (9 furlongs) “to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training,” the New York Racing Association said in a statement.
RELATED: How to watch Belmont Stakes
Who won the 2020 Belmont Stakes? Finish order:
Tiz the Law (WINNER)
Tap It to Win
When is Belmont Stakes 2020?
The 152nd Belmont Stakes is on Saturday, June 20. Post time is scheduled to be at approximately 5:42 p.m. ET on NBC.
Where is the Belmont Stakes?
The Belmont Stakes is run annually at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Belmont Park is on Long Island just miles away from the borough of Queens, and in a normal year, city dwellers can just hop on the Long Island Rail Road for a day at the races.
How to watch the 2020 Belmont Stakes?
NBC is home to the 152nd Belmont Stakes, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV and NBCSports.com before, during and after the main event. Coverage runs from 2:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. on NBC, just hours after NBC’s coverage of the final day of the Royal Ascot in England. See the broadcast schedule here for more info on how to watch Belmont Stakes 2020. Stream the Belmont Stakes here.
Who are the horses to watch?
Florida Derby (G1) winner Tiz the Law looks to become the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont since 1882. With the same owner and trainer team as 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, he is the son of Constitution and grandson of Tapit, who sired three Belmont winners (Tonalist in 2014, Creator in 2016, Tapwrit in 2017). With four wins in five career starts, he’s likely to be the early favorite.
Tap it to Win also has the Tapit genes, as his parents are Tapit and a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, who was second in the 2002 Belmont. His trainer, newly named Hall of Famer Mark Casse, could repeat in this race after his horse Sir Winston won the 151st Belmont Stakes. His 3-year-old season has been a welcomed change from his first year on the track, where he won one of his four starts. This year, he’s won both races he’s entered, including an allowance race at Belmont just 16 days before the Belmont Stakes. He originally wasn’t nominated to the Triple Crown, so his connections paid an extra $15,000 to get him in.
Late closer Farmington Road looks to give trainer Todd Pletcher his fourth Belmont Stakes win, but despite having many of the same connections as 2017 Belmont winner Tapwrit (Pletcher and owners Eclipse Thoroughbreds and Robert LaPenta), he only has one win in six starts. The shortened race may go against him, as his connections see him as more of a distance horse.
The second of Todd Pletcher’s string, Dr Post makes his graded stakes debut in the Belmont Stakes. Pletcher’s late bloomer has three career starts, breaking his maiden in his second race and winning his last race as well. He is owned by Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola, who races as St. Elias Stable.
Max Player faces an uphill battle in the 152nd Belmont after having not raced since the Withers Stakes (G3) on February 1, but if he wins, his trainer Linda Rice would become the first woman to train the winner of a Triple Crown race. His sire is 2015 Champion Older Horse Honor Code, who is the son of 1992 Belmont winner and Horse of the Year A.P. Indy.
Post positions and Belmont 2020 odds as of June 17:
1. Tap It to Win (6-1)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: John Velazquez
2. Sole Volante (9-2)
Trainer: Patrick Biancone
Jockey: Luca Panici
3. Max Player (15-1)
Trainer: Linda Rice
Jockey: Joel Rosario
4. Modernist (15-1)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
5. Farmington Road (15-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
6. Fore Left (30-1)
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
7. Jungle Runner (50-1)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez
8. Tiz the Law (6-5)
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Jockey: Manny Franco
9. Dr Post (5-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
10. Pneumatic (8-1)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
What is the Belmont Stakes?
The Belmont Stakes is historically the last leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. Like the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, it’s a Grade I Thoroughbred stakes races. In a normal year, the Belmont Stakes is 1 1/2 miles, or 12 furlongs, making it the longest race in the Triple Crown.
The Belmont is run on the dirt track (also known as “Big Sandy”) at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It was first raced in 1867, making it the oldest jewel in the Triple Crown (and the fourth oldest race in North America). However, the race wasn’t run in 1911 or 1912, which is why the Kentucky Derby is still the longest continuous sporting event in the country. The Belmont has always been run in or around New York City, having raced at Jerome Park (now closed), Morris Park (also closed) and Aqueduct in addition to Belmont, which is just east of Queens.
Aside from traditionally being the last hurdle for Triple Crown contenders, the Belmont is known for Secretariat’s 31-length victory in 1973, which sealed his Triple Crown title and set the current world record at 2:24 for 1 1/2 miles on dirt.
Who won the 2019 Belmont Stakes?
The 12 furlongs “Test of the Champions” closed out one of the most dramatic Triple Crowns in recent memory after Maximum Security became the first horse ever to cross the wire first in the Kentucky Derby and then be disqualified on site for impeding the forward motion of several horses, making second place finisher Country House the winner by default.
Without the disqualified winner and the official winner in contention, the 144th Preakness Stakes seemed to go off without a hitch until Bodexpress ditched jockey John Velazquez right out of the gate. The riderless No. 9 horse kept pace with the pack and even kept running after the race ended before being caught by outrider and former jockey Kaymarie Kreidel.
What comes next?
NBC Sports is home to all things Triple Crown and will have comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby on September 5, the Preakness Stakes on October 3 and a number of Kentucky Derby qualifying races and Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” races.
Watch the 2020 Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 20 from 2:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.