The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced live racing, to be conducted without spectators, will return Wednesday, June 3, at Belmont Park.
Following the five-day opening week, live racing throughout the 25-day Belmont spring/summer meet will be conducted Thursday through Sunday, with a first post time of 1:15 p.m. Eastern. The spring/summer meet will conclude on Sunday, July 12.
A condensed stakes schedule for the spring/summer meet will feature 40 total stakes races worth $7 million, including 22 graded stakes, beginning on Opening Day June 3 with the Grade 3, $100,000 Beaugay at 1 1/16-miles on the turf for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up.
The 152nd Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 20, as the first leg of the Triple Crown series, a historic first for the crown jewel of thoroughbred racing. Traditionally run at 1 ½ miles, this year's edition of the Belmont Stakes will be contested at nine furlongs (1 1/8 miles) and broadcast live on NBC, the exclusive broadcast partner of the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown.
“The resumption of live racing at Belmont Park on June 3, with all appropriate health and safety protocols in place, will support the hundreds of small businesses, family-owned farms and thousands of hourly workers who form the backbone of thoroughbred racing in New York,” NYRA President & CEO Dave O'Rourke said. “The return of live sports, especially New York institutions like the Belmont Stakes, is a welcome sign of progress that will bring some sense of normalcy back to our everyday lives.”
Absent from the stakes schedule are the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational and the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational, the opening legs of the Turf Triple Series implemented by NYRA last year as the turf equivalent of the Triple Crown series. The Turf Triple Series will be run in 2020 and an announcement regarding dates will be made in the coming weeks.
Belmont Stakes Day June 20 will feature six graded races including four Grade 1 events led by the historic Belmont Stakes, which will offer 150-60-30-15 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
Rounding out the Grade 1 entertainment on Belmont Stakes Day are the $300,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies going one mile; the $250,000 Woody Stephens presented by Claiborne Farm, a seven-furlong sprint over Big Sandy for 3-year-olds; and the $250,000 Jaipur, presented by America's Best Racing, for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on turf, which offers a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. A pair of one-mile turf races for sophomores, previously contested at nine furlongs, completes a stakes-laden card with the Grade 2, $150,000 Pennine Ridge and the Grade 3, $150,000 Wonder Again for fillies.
Closing weekend of the Belmont spring/summer meet will include the Grade 2, $150,000 Ruffian at one mile for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up on Saturday, July 11 and the $80,000 River Memories, a 1 1/2-mile stamina test on the turf for older fillies and mares, on Sunday, July 12.
Live racing will shift to Saratoga Race Course for the 40-day summer meet scheduled to run from Thursday, July 16 through Labor Day, Sept. 7.