Seth Wenig/Associated Press
A shorter race, different date, no fans, the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown instead of the last and some of the assumed top contenders from earlier in the year missing.
Other than that, everything will be the same at this year’s Belmont Stakes.
The race at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, is the first leg of the Triple Crown this year after the Kentucky Derby and Preakness were rescheduled for Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, respectively, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will be run over 1⅛ miles, which drastically changes what it is known for as the physically grueling final test of the Triple Crown run at 1½ miles.
Here is a look at all the information for what figures to be one of the most unique Belmont Stakes in the event’s history.
152nd Belmont Stakes
Date: Saturday, June 20
Post Time: 5:42 p.m. ET (10th race at Belmont Park)
TV Coverage: 3-6 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Purse: $1 million ($535,000 for the winner)
Post Positions (Horse: Trainer, Morning Line Odds)
1. Tap It To Win: Mark Casse, 6-1
2. Sole Volante: Patrick Biancone, 9-2
3. Max Player: Linda Rice, 15-1
4. Modernist: William Mott, 15-1
5. Farmington Road: Todd Pletcher, 15-1
6. Fore Left: Doug O’Neill, 30-1
7. Jungle Runner: Steven Asmussen, 50-1
8. Tiz The Law: Barclay Tagg, 6-5
9. Dr Post: Todd Pletcher, 5-1
10. Pneumatic: Steven Asmussen, 8-1
Note: Post info and morning lines available from draw broadcast.
The biggest storyline entering the race is whether trainer Barclay Tagg will complete the career Triple Crown with favorite Tiz The Law.
Tagg helped guide Funny Cide to victories at the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness and appears to be in ideal position with Tiz The Law. Saturday’s favorite has four wins in his first five starts and prevailed at the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont, Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park and Grade 1 Florida Derby.
He also doesn’t have to worry about the undefeated Nadal, who was retired because of a left front lateral condyle fracture in May.
“What will bother me is if they put an asterisk after it,” Tagg said, per AFP (via Yahoo Sports). “If it’s the Belmont Stakes, let it be the Belmont Stakes. It’s got good horses in it.”
That article noted Charlatan and Maxfield will also be out because of injuries, which surely explains part of Tagg’s reservations about the race having something of an asterisk. There is also the fact that the race is not the lengthy test it typically is.
Still, retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey said there should be no doubting Tiz The Law heading into Saturday’s race.
“Tiz the Law has been the best three-year-old since January basically, and he remains that,” he said. “He would have been favored in whatever Triple Crown race we ran first, so we have a superstar that we’re going to see on Saturday.”
He will look to prove that at Belmont Park.