We've arrived at the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y. And ... it's going to be different. For starters, the Belmont is the first of the Triple Crown races to be run this year (it's usually last), with the Kentucky Derby having been postponed to Sept. 5 and the Preakness to Oct. 3 because of the coronavirus shutdown. Then there's the fact that the race is going to be run without anyone in the stands — that'll take some away some of the pomp and circumstance, for sure.
But other than that? It's business as usual for the horses, their trainers, and the jockeys atop them.
The 3-year-olds are in it for 1-and-an-eighth miles on dirt — that's another change, actually, down from 1.5 miles — looking to top out the million-dollar purse.
Tap It To Win is the favorite for Saturday's race. He's ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Mark Casse. They're followed up by Sole Volante, Max Player, Modernist and Farmington Road, to round out the Top 5.
It's a little silly to go through all this for just one race, of course. And there's not just one race on Saturday. There are 12 races on the card, but it's the 10th race — scheduled for 5:42 p.m. Eastern.
Tap It To Win has won two of his last three starts, the most recent coming on June 4. Should he win today, it'd be the third straight Triple Crown victory for trainer Casse.
2020 Belmont Stakes TV schedule
Like most horse-racing events (even though there aren't spectators at this one), it's an all-day affair. And you can catch most of the preliminary action before the big race in the late afternoon.
Here's the full TV schedule for this year's Belmont Stakes. All times are Eastern:
- 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on FS1
- 2 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. on FS2
- The Belmont Stakes: 2:45 to 6 p.m. on NBC
- 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. on MSG+
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