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Belmont Stakes gets June date, making Kentucky Derby the second leg of the Triple Crown

Adam Coglianese | NYRA

Adam Coglianese | NYRA

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

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

7 Comments for Belmont Stakes gets June date, making Kentucky Derby the second leg of the Triple Crown



  1. UKrailbird
    2:58 pm May 19, 2020 Permalink

    Man, did racing screw this one up or what? Can’t believe the 3 entities involved could not have done a better job coordinating/planning this. I know this is a difficult time, but now they are running the longest race of the Triple Crown series first, followed by the second longest, followed by the shortest.



    • bkeith75
      3:23 pm May 19, 2020 Permalink

      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.



    • UKrailbird
      6:16 pm May 19, 2020 Permalink

      Belmont at shortened distance now makes sense. First report I saw did not mention such. My faith is restored!



    • bkeith75
      7:01 pm May 19, 2020 Permalink

      I thought the same thing at first too. It does make more sense now.



  2. bkeith75
    3:22 pm May 19, 2020 Permalink

    This years Belmont was shortened to a mile and 1/8 per the article.



  3. shepdog3720
    6:08 pm May 19, 2020 Permalink

    This is nothing more than a Derby prep race, in my opinion. And there is a decent chance a couple of the very best 3 yr olds might end up at Keeneland for Breeder’s Cup in early November instead of Baltimore for the Preakness. Might be time for a sponsor to throw out a big bonus for a Triple Crown winner, kind of like the $5 million that Visa offered up until around 2005 or 2006.



  4. gasman01
    9:59 pm May 19, 2020 Permalink

    I’m curious. Will we honor a horse if he sweeps the triple crown this year.