Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Triple Crown organizers had to rework the schedule for the top American Thoroughbred races of the year, a common story among spring sporting events and leagues. The Triple Crown includes the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, the last of which typically concludes the trio of races, but this year is kicking them off.
The 152nd running Belmont Stakes was originally scheduled for June 6, but was postponed to June 20.
The Kentucky Derby was moved from May 2 to Sept. 5 and the Preakness Stakes was rescheduled from May 16 to Oct. 3.
The Belmont Stakes will also be shorter this year, for training purposes for the horses competing. Instead of the usual 1 1/2-mile (2.4 km) race, this year's race will be 1 1/8 miles (1.8 km).
This marks the first time since 1926 the race will not be 1 1/2 miles long.
Unlike other years, this year's race will be held behind closed doors, without any fans present. With the coronavirus pandemic still a threat, organizers felt holding the event with empty stands was in the best interest of everyone's health.
The race will still take place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York and 3 year old horses will be competing, as usual. This year's event has a purse of $1 million.
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How to watch the Belmont Stakes
- Date: June 20, 2020
- Time: 5:42 p.m. ET
- Location: Belmont Park in Elmont, New York
- Channel: NBC