Coronavirus has moved the traditional last leg of the Triple Crown into the lead-off spot.
The 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be June 20, two weeks later than originally scheduled. Fans will not be in the stands for the action at Belmont Park.
The new start date makes the Belmont the first leg of the 2020 Triple Crown, a first in the race’s history. The $1 million race will also give out Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers (150-60-30-15).
Since 1926 the Belmont has been the longest leg of the Triple Crown at 1 1/2 miles. Without a warm-up 1 1/4 miles contest in the Derby, the race has been shrunk to only nine furlongs (1 1/8 miles). NYRA explained the decision to adjust the race in their release.
Traditionally contested at 1 1/2-miles and held as the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be run at a distance of 1 1/8-miles to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training.
The change in the Belmont means this year’s Kentucky Derby will be unlike any other in our lifetime. When the horses enter the starting gate at Churchill Downs, we will know which horse will be in contention for the Triple Crown.
2020 Triple Crown Schedule
- Belmont Stakes: June 20
- Kentucky Derby: September 5
- Preakness Stakes: October 3