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The good news for horse racing fans: there will be a Belmont Stakes in 2020, that will take place on June 20. It’ll be the first leg of the Triple Crown instead of the last, with the Kentucky Derby taking place on Sept. 5 and the Preakness being run on Oct. 3.

The other news for racing fans: it’ll be run at 1 1/8 miles and not at its traditional 1 1/2 miles.

So why is that the case?

Check out this quote from New York Racing Association chief exec David O’Rourke, via the New York Times: “It was tough to ask developing 3-year-old horses to go that far after not racing for months.”

Remember, the Belmont is traditionally the longest race. By that time, the thoroughbreds have been through a bunch of races and are in shape. With racing venues closed around the country and World due to coronavirus, the horses may not be in the same kind of shape by June 20, and asking them to run such a long distance. It’s the same reason you can’t just start up an NBA postseason in a week or two after announcing it. The athletes need time to round in form or there will be injury risk.

Even if it’s in a strange order, at least we’re getting the Triple Crown in some form.

, , Horse Racing

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