There is no other thing that excites any horse racing enthusiast than the opening of the first part of the Triple Crown Series, the Belmont Stakes 2020. After all the challenges the association had to face, finally, the gates were opened at Belmont Park. Following the schedule set by the association, horses were seen on the track last June 20, 2020.
Even with the entire difference in how originally a Triple Crown Series will proceed, fans at home are excited for the race to begin. Read through the article and let us get into full details about what happened during the Belmont Stakes 2020. Who are the leading horses, and which horse got the chance to complete the Triple Crown Series.
Changes in the Opening of the Belmont Stakes 2020
The most anticipated horse racing event of the year made its opening day last June 20, 2020, at Belmont Park, Elmont, New York. The racing event venue that can hold a maximum of 90,000 fans that draws cheers like waves of the ocean was nowhere to be found. Due to the pandemic, the racing association needs to adhere to some policies and regulations to make the event possible.
But none of that matters, fans and racing enthusiasts were still excited as much as they are in the venue themselves. Since there are no live audiences, there will be no on-track betting, but thankfully, online betting made things more accessible and convenient for all professional and first-time bettors.
Other changes include as well as the running distance of the Belmont Stakes was shortened. From the original 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) or 12 furlongs, the “Test of the Champion” running distance is shortened to 1 1⁄8 miles (1.8 km) or 9 furlongs. These changes had been announced the moment how the Triple Crown Series schedule would be.
And last significant changes of the Belmont Stakes 2020 is the total prize winnings for the winning horse. The usual $1.5 million winnings from last year lowered down to $1 million this year.
Horses on the track
Even though there were no live spectators during the Belmont Stakes, the race track in Belmont Park is filled with neighing horses eager to run the field. Before the said event happens, there are many predictions already who are the horses that will make their way to Belmont Park.
Many top names and fans’ favorites made it in the list, but here are the ten racing contenders and their jockeys present during the race event.
- Tap It to Win – John Velazquez
- Sole Volante – Luca Panici
- Max Player – Joel Rosario
- Modernist – Junior Alvarado
- Farmington Road – Javier Castellano
- Fore Left – José Ortiz
- Jungle Runner – Jungle Runner
- Tiz the Law – Manuel Franco
- Dr Post – Irad Ortiz Jr.
- Pneumatic – Ricardo Santana, Jr.
Famous trainer Todd Pletcher had trained two horses that competed in the Belmont Stakes, Dr Post, and Farmington Road. It was Pletcher fourth try on Belmont Stakes as the famous and awarded horse trainer had already won three Belmont Stakes.
Tiz The Law, Belmont Stakes 2020 Winner
After Forester won the Belmont Stakes in 1882, Tiz The Law made its way in winning the Belmont Stakes 2020. The fourth New York-bred horse that won the prestigious race after Ruthless in 1867, Fenian in 1869, and Forester in 1882. Also, it made Barclay Tagg the oldest horse trainer to win the Belmont Stakes. Tagg was already 82 years old when he trained Tiz The Law under the Sackatoga Stable.
Tiz The Law lays down the law
Tiz The Law was already a fan favorite before the actual Belmont Stakes event. But there are also close contenders to usurp the favorite horse. Top candidates include Tap It To Win It and Todd Pletcher’s Dr Post. These two horses have a great advantage to run over Tiz the Law on the field.
However, Sackatoga Stable pride horse made its way rushing through the race track and won the Belmont Stakes by four lengths. Tiz the Law dominated the field and finished the Belmont Stakes at 1:46.53. Followed by Pletcher’s Dr Post and Max Slayer with Tap It to Win It disappointingly placed in fifth. You can check the complete horse racing results on TVG, including the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta.
Unexpected loss of great competitors
But preceding the event, Bob Baffert’s trained horses, Nadal and Charlatan, were considered the fan favorites alongside Tiz The Law. Because of these close competition between the horses, it made everything about Belmont Stakes 2020 an exciting racing event to open the Triple Crown Series.
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Nadal was injured at Santa Anita, and Charlatan, on the other hand, had a minor ankle injury. As per Baffert, Charlatan had a filling on his ankle and needs to be taken out surgically. That means two of Baffert’s top horses will not be competing in Belmont. Hence, making more ways for Tiz the Law to dominate the track.
After so many difficulties, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) had to face, finally, the horses made their way to the tracks. And so, declared a winner, the first horse to own a pass to earn the prestigious award as the Triple Crown winner. The fans’ grueling waiting times were paid off the moment the horses dashed through the field. There might be changes, but it is still the Belmont Stakes everybody was looking forward to.