The Triple Crown of horse racing has been turned on it’s head due to precautions in place to protect against the virus. The Belmont Stakes, normally the third Jewel in the crown, will be run this Saturday, June 20th. The Kentucky Derby has been postponed until early September, and the Preakness Stakes will take place a month later in October.
This change will dramatically alter the training schedules the three-year-old thoroughbreds will undergo. The Belmont Stakes is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races this year. While usually the longest of the three at 1 ½ miles, the Belmont has been shortened to 1 1/8 miles for 2020 since 3-year-olds haven’t been able to build stamina with the customary racing calendar this spring. In a normal year, as trainers prepare the horses for the Kentucky Derby (run at 1 1/4 miles) and the Preakness (1 3/16 miles) they are gradually getting the horses ready to compete at the Belmont distance of 12 furlongs.