An abbreviated Belmont Stakes will be the first leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown in 2020, scheduled for June 20 without spectators.
The New York Racing Association also announced Tuesday that the 152nd edition of the race at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will be run at 1 1/8 miles instead of the usual 1 1/2 miles.
Traditionally the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont was originally slated for June 6 before the coronavirus pandemic shuffled the calendar. It will be followed by the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 and the Preakness Stakes on Oct. 3.
“While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020,” NYRA president and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a news release. “Thanks to our partners at NBC Sports, fans across the country can look forward to a day of exceptional thoroughbred racing at a time when entertainment and sports are so important to providing a sense of normalcy.”
The NYRA said the race was shortened to account for the adjusted training schedules for the 3-year-old horses.