Belmont Stakes

Baffert Leaning Toward Belmont With Charlatan

After giving some thought to passing the race, trainer Bob Baffert said he is leaning toward starting Charlatan (Speightstown) in the GI Belmont S. June 20. Baffert had been considering running Charlatan the GI seven-furlong Woody Stephens S., also June 20, and Nadal (Blame) in the Belmont. But Nadal was injured last week and retired. "I was thinking about running Charlatan in the Woody Stephens and then the Haskell because I had Nadal for the Belmont. Now that has changed," he said. Charlatan is scheduled to breeze Monday morning. Baffert...

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Late Triple Crown Nominations Due June 3

The deadline for late nominations to the rescheduled 2020 Triple Crown will be Wednesday, June 3. Owners and trainers can make 3-year-old Thoroughbreds eligible for the three-race series with a payment of $3,000. Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional order and dates for the Triple Crown were revised: the GI Belmont S. will be run first June 20 at 1 1/8 miles, followed by the GI Kentucky Derby Sept. 5 and GI Preakness S. Oct. 3. A total of 347 horses were made eligible to the Triple Crown during...

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Tiz the Law Tunes Up for Belmont

Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law (Constitution), last-out winner of the GI Florida Derby, tuned up for the June 20 GI Belmont S. with a five-furlong work in :59.75 (1/5) at Palm Meadows Sunday. "He's doing fine. He had a nice work," said trainer Barclay Tagg. "I sent a little filly here ahead of him so he had something to look at, and he caught her going down the stretch. I'll probably breeze him here next Sunday before we head back to New York." Tiz the Law won last year's GI...

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The Week in Review: Not the Test of a Champion, but Belmont Won’t Lack for Star Power

To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want. But sometimes, you get what you need. That might end up being the case regarding the retooled GI Belmont S. announced last week by the New York Racing Association (NYRA). For its 2020 running, COVID-19 has transformed the $1.5-million, 12-furlong "Test of Champions" concluding leg of the Triple Crown into a one-turn, nine-furlong prep for the other two Classics with two-thirds its original purse. The revised Belmont S. will be run June 20 in a spectator-free Belmont Park...

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Max Player Preps for Belmont S.

GIII Wither S. hero Max Player (Honor Code) breezed six furlongs in 1:13.87 (1/2) Friday morning on the Belmont training track in preparation for the June 20 GI Belmont S. "He had a nice workout today. He went six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 on the training track and did it easily," said trainer Linda Rice. "We were happy with it. We'll give him two more workouts before the Belmont." A second-out graduate at Parx in December, the George Hall homebred came running late to take the nine-furlong Withers in February...

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NYRA VP Martin Panza Joins TDN Writers’ Room to Talk Belmont, Saratoga, Life in the COVID Epicenter

As the racing world mostly returned to order last week with the reopening of Santa Anita and Churchill and dates for two-thirds of the rescheduled Triple Crown being locked in, eyes turned to the New York Racing Association. Located in the epicenter of the world's coronavirus pandemic, NYRA hasn't run a race card since Mar. 15 at Aqueduct, and has remained in limbo like much of the state as the virus peaked, then slowly--painfully slowly--retreated. But with Governor Andrew Cuomo's proclamation that racing could resume in New York beginning June...

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Belmont To Open June 3 With Reduced Stakes Schedule

Belmont will reopen June 3 for a 25-day meet with a stakes schedule that includes a number of purse cuts and the cancellation of several stakes traditionally run in the spring at the NYRA tracks. Spectators will not be allowed to attend the races throughout the spring season at Belmont. Following the opening week, racing will be held Thursdays through Sundays with closing day scheduled for July 12. "The resumption of live racing at Belmont Park June 3, with all appropriate health and safety protocols in place, will support the...

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Nine-Furlong Belmont To Be Run June 20

What has traditionally been the final leg of the Triple Crown will now be the first. 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...

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It’s Official: Preakness to be Held at Pimlico Oct. 3

The GI Preakness S. will be run at Pimlico on Oct. 3, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced on NBC Saturday on what would have been Preakness Day under normal circumstances. The announcement confirmed a report from earlier in the week from WBAL, the NBC affiliate in Baltimore. With Churchill Downs having announced that the GI Kentucky Derby will be run Sept. 5, among the Triple Crown races, only the GI Belmont S. has yet to be scheduled. While NYRA officials have not made an official announcement regarding the timing of...

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Churchill Downs Extends Road to the KY Derby

Churchill Downs Racetrack released a preliminary list of races Tuesday that could be used for the extension of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve," pending agreeable race placement by the host tracks. The first race in the extended series, the $150,000 GIII Matt Winn S. May 23 at Churchill Downs, will have top four points raised from the previously announced 10-4-2-1to 50-20-10-5. "Based on measured interest from horsemen and limited racing opportunities for 3-year-olds across the country, the Matt Winn at the home of the Kentucky...

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The Week in Review: Summer Means Saratoga and Del Mar. Now Keeneland, Too?

Keeneland Race Course will be seeking a short summer race meet after losing its spring season to COVID-19 closure. Yet management at the Lexington track is trying to be mindful that such a move would have a ripple effect not only on Ellis Park, which traditionally has the Kentucky circuit all to itself during that time frame, but also the horse populations and stakes programs at Saratoga and Del Mar, the bi-coastal heavyweights that dominate American racing in the mid-July through Labor Day window. "We're looking to run an abbreviated...

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Classic Shuffle

The American Triple Crown is among a never-ending string of sporting fixtures that have been upended as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic. Churchill Downs addressed the issue first, announcing that the 2020 renewal of the GI Kentucky Derby will be presented Sept. 5, while the Maryland Jockey Club followed, announcing the GI Preakness S. would also be rescheduled, although an official date has yet to be announced for the Triple Crown's second jewel despite reports of an October running. NYRA has yet to confirm a date for the...

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