Belmont Stakes becomes first leg of US Triple Crown on 20 June

The Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park goes from the final leg to the first of the US Triple Crown this year. Horse racing in the New York area resumes on 3 June with this Classic contest taking place on 20 June.

Usually run over a mile-and-a-half, the Belmont Stakes has its distance reduced down to nine furlongs. With a total purse of $1,000,000, it’s almost three months before the Kentucky Derby on 5 September.

The Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore goes from the second US Triple Crown race to the last on 3 October.

Preserving the Classics in America, just like in the UK with The Derby staying at Epsom Downs, is important for bloodstock. Thoroughbred breeding on both sides of the Atlantic depend on these races.

Florida Derby winner Tiz The Law is among the market leaders in the ante post betting with bookmakers. His owners, Sackatoga Stable, are targeting US Triple Crown glory for the Graade 1 winner.

“It’s the Belmont Derby,” Sackatoga Stable chief Jack Knowlton. “This is, in many ways, the Kentucky Derby, because you will have the best horses running in this race who typically would not meet until the Kentucky Derby.”

The US Triple Crown has a unique feel to it now in this most extraordinary year. Churchill Downs still hope to have a crowd in attendance for the Kentucky Derby, but the Belmont Stakes is behind closed doors.

Analysis: Belmont Stakes brings slice of normality back to New York

Jamie Clark, Editor

The last horse racing event in New York took place at Aqueduct on 15 March, so a near three-month hiatus is reaching its end.

Its resumption at Belmont Park on 3 June is just 17 days before the revised date for the Belmont Stakes. This year’s edition of the US Triple Crown certainly has a unique flavour to it.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo giving the go-ahead is a major step in the right direction. This can give some much needed relief for sports fans across the pond.

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