Triple Crown: shortened Belmont Stakes rescheduled for June 20
The Belmont Stakes, traditionally the final leg of the US Triple Crown, will instead be run as the opening race for the first time on June 20.
It will be run this year at a reduced distance of 1m1f, instead of its usual 1m4f, and take place behind closed doors at Belmont Park.
In its new slot, the $1 million Classic precedes the Kentucky Derby on September 5, four weeks ahead of the Preakness on October 3.
There has been no racing in New York since Aqueduct on March 15 due to the coronavirus but New York governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for the sport to resume at Belmont Park on June 3.
"The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times," said New York Racing Association president Dave O'Rourke.
One of the leading contenders for the race is Tiz The Law, winner of the Grade 1 Florida Derby in March for trainer Barclay Tagg.
He is owned by Sackatoga Stable and its head Jack Knowlton told bloodhorse.com: "It's the Belmont Derby. This is, in many ways, the Kentucky Derby because you'll have the best horses running in this race who typically would not meet until the Kentucky Derby."
Keep up to date on the must-have news, tips, photos and more by following the Racing Post across all social channels