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The field is set for the Belmont Stakes, the first leg of the 2020 Triple Crown

John Calipari at the Belmont when Justify won the Triple Crown in 2018.

John Calipari at the Belmont when Justify won the Triple Crown in 2018.

The 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be unlike any of its predecessors.

For the first time the horse race at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY will serve as the first leg of the Triple Crown, thanks to the scheduling changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Typically the longest race of the three, the move in timing also forced NYRA to shorten the race to 1 1/8 mile.

Many speculated the change in distance would draw an enormous field, yet there are still only ten horses entered into Saturday’s race. Tiz the Law, the leader in the road to Kentucky Derby points standings, is the morning line favorite at 6-5.

1. Tap It To Win 6-1
2. Sole Volante 9-2
3. Max Player 15-1
4. Modernist 15-1
5. Farmington Road 15-1
6. Fore Left 30-1
7. Jungle Runner 50-1
8. Tiz the Law 6-5
9. Dr. Post 5-1
10. Pnuematic 8-1

Winner of the Florida Derby and the Holy Bull, Tiz the Law has shown it’s the cream of the crop in this year’s group of three-year-olds. The key is finding value elsewhere to make it a profitable exotic bet. Max Player, a two-time winner that most recently won the Grade III Withers, has a good price. Tap It To Win is coming off a 97-Beyer speed rating run earlier this month at Belmont Park. The son of Tapit, a horse who’s bred quite a few Belmont winners, should benefit from the shorter distance and inside post position.

Fans will not be in attendance Saturday evening when Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” rings through the stands. Instead, spectators must watch all of the action from home on NBC. Post time is set for 5:42 p.m. ET. For more historical footnotes on this upcoming race, enjoy this from ESPN’s Chris Fallica, a.k.a. The Bear.

Article written by Nick Roush

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