Another(?) Sign of the Times

Well, we thought the Triple Crown would never change, but these crazy times have caused mountains to move. While reviewing past Triple Crown winners, we realized the first several TC winners raced in the KY Derby and Preakness Stakes that were scheduled days apart. That said, no one ever thought the TC would change the dates or the distances of racing’s greatest tradition. Previously, such a change seemed unthinkable.


Then Covid-19 came along that changed the world as we know. The Colonial Downs meet is set to start on July 23, the Kentucky Derby run on September 5th and the Preakness Stake run on October 3rd.

According to the Thoroughbred Daily News, to get the whole ball rolling the GI Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 at the distance of a mile and an eighth, NYRA announced Tuesday.

In a year where the coronavirus has caused tracks across the country to scramble and adjust their racing calendars and stakes schedules, the Triple Crown, in order, will now consist of the June 20 Belmont, the GI Kentucky Derby Sept. 5 and the GI Preakness Oct. 3.

“The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times,” NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a statement. “While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020. Thanks to our partners at NBC Sports, fans across the country can look forward to a day of exceptional Thoroughbred racing at a time when entertainment and sports are so important to providing a sense of normalcy.”

The distance of the race was not the only change. The purse has been cut from $1.5 million to $1 million and it will take place in front of an empty grandstand.

NYRA confirmed that the race will be shown on NBC, as part of a three-hour telecast.

Stand by for further(?) changes.

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