As the Belmont Stakes return beginning from Saturday in New York, fans and lovers of the sport are beginning to wonder what things have changed, what new developments have been introduced, and what rules will have to be put in place for the show to go on.
“The test of the champion and the run for the carnations”, (as the Belmont stake is also popularly known) is usually the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. It comes just three weeks after the Preakness Stakes which comes two weeks after the thrilling Kentucky Derby.
The thrills, the joy, the suspense, and the fun of the Belmont Stakes would be coming back this Saturday, however, a couple of things have changed about the race this year and these are what we’ll be discussing.
The Belmont Stakes is one of the biggest events in America and in the state of New York that draws in crowds in their thousands year in year out. The event is an American G1 stakes race for Thoroughbreds of three years old. The Belmont Stakes usually takes place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It births the question though, are we going to be seeing that much crowd again in this year’s event? Are there going to be changes regarding the venue, time, and worth? Let’s find out.
The 8 changes to the 2020 Belmont Stakes
The following are some of the things you probably knew about the Belmont Stakes that you won’t be seeing this year. It is important to note that most of these changes are due to the coronavirus pandemic that rocked the entire world this year.
1. With the Kentucky Derby shifted to September and the Preakness Stakes set to take place in October, the Belmont Stakes which usually should be the last leg of the Triple Crown will now have to run first this year.
2. The track length of the Belmont Stakes has now been reduced from a-mile-and-a-half race to a mile-and-an-eighth. This is owing to the fact that three-year-olds haven’t had enough time to build stamina for a longer race.
3. The Belmont Stakes usually took place on the first, or sometimes, second Saturday in the month of June. As you may have already guessed, it is taking place this Saturday which happens to be the third one in the month.
4. The Belmont Stakes has always been the lengthiest of the Triple Crown contests at 1½ miles, however, it is going to be the shortest of the three this year at 1⅛ miles.
5. There will be zero spectators at the grounds to witness the event: the Belmont Stakes is known to pull in a massive crowd of people sometimes up to 100,000, sometimes more, and sometimes a little less. This year will be different. Only trainers and backside workers will be allowed to be present at the Belmont Stakes ground. But don’t worry, the entire event will be broadcasted live, so you can be in the comfort of your home and still get almost as much thrill.
6. You might want to hang on to your remote and fix your eyes on the television set once it is 5:00 pm as the race is set to kick off at 5:30 p.m without any delay.
7. The 2020 Belmont Stakes has racked up a whopping sum of $1 million. That’s a groundbreaking record. The winner of the race is set to receive $535,000 of that amount, that’s an amount a little above half of the entire worth.
8. The shortened track length of the 2020 Belmont Stakes may affect the betting odds: the latest information about the event was released not too long ago and people are of the opinion that a few of the odds will be affected. This is also as a result of the condition of most of the horses, their fitness, and stamina level.
Other interesting information about the Belmont Stakes includes the following:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of the state of New York said on Saturday (May 16) that New York will allow horse-racing tracks to be open again for the Belmont Stakes along with the Watkins Glen International car track. This is following steps to reopen the economy and ease the coronavirus lockdown.
Everyone is on the lookout for ‘Tiz the Law’ which has fast gained the appeal of the public. The horse is everybody’s favorite at the moment. There isn’t so much wonder as to why the majority in the state of New York is rooting for ‘Tiz the Law’ to win. This is due to the fact that no New York-bred horse has won the Belmont Stakes in 138 years. If this horse wins it, it will be the first since 1882.
The horse has garnered three graded-stakes wins since running and has the fastest speed figure of 117. He’s the 6-5 favorite in the latest 2020 Belmont Stakes odds and has a much higher chance of winning. This is achievable for ‘Tiz the Law’ in the 2020 Belmont Stakes but will not be an easy contention with the 9 other powerful horses proving to be valiant enough contenders, including horses like Sole Volante, Dr. Post, and Tap It to Win. These horses have interesting records and lineage in their names too.
Here are the Belmont Stakes entries on Saturday according to Equibase (in the order of post position):
3. Max Player
8. Tiz the Law
9. Doctor Post
It is advised that you take proper caution and expert advice before taking a bet on any of the horses participating in the Belmont Stakes knowing fully well that the fans’ favorite is going to be in the race.
Lastly, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes were also moved to a further date as earlier mentioned which is why Belmont Stakes is happening first. However, it is expected that the Kentucky Derby will take place on the 5th of September, while the Preakness Stakes kicks off on the 3rd of October.
That is all for now on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, stay safe.