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Horse Racing in Review: The Best of Belmont Stakes 2020

posted by Ysabelle Frank at 2021-03-10 19:30:00


For those racing enthusiasts visiting Upstate NY, there are several fun and entertaining horse racing establishments in various regions such as harness racing at Saratoga Casino in the Capital Region, Vernon Downs in Central New York and Batavia Downs in the Niagara-Western Region. New York itself is also home to the Belmont Stakes “Test of the Champions,” the third leg of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.


Just 32.5 miles from White Plains in the Hudson Valley Region, tickets are now available for the June 4 - 5, 2021, event. While things were turned upside down last year in the race for the Triple Crown, this year promises a somewhat return to normal. Here is a compelling and thorough summary of last year’s modified event courtesy of a pandemic:


 
The 2020 Belmont Stakes were quite different than earlier Triple Crown seasons. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is to be blamed. Consequently, the "Test of the Champion" was moved from the third jewel of the Triple Crown to the first. Further, the race was reduced from 12-furlong length or 1 1/2 miles to nine furlongs or 1 1/8 miles.

 
Conventionally, it is the final leg of the Triple Crown. However, the Kentucky Derby which was the opening race of the series was pushed to September. Meanwhile, the Preakness is also moved to October. For the first time in Triple Crown History, the Belmont Stakes unrolled the series for the very first time on June 20 of last year.
 

Brief History of Belmont Stakes


Jockey Manny Franco and Saratoga’s hometown hero Tiz the Law celebrating win without the fans. Image Source: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/belmont-stakes-jockey-manny-franco-victorious-aboard-tiz-news-photo/1222710295?adppopup=true


This race is dubbed the "Test of the Champions.” With a length of 1 ½ mile, it is indeed a tough challenge for the strong competitors in each edition.

 
It has also become a home of legendary names in the field of horse racing. Man o’ War, Comanche, and Secretariat, who snatched the conclusive Belmont feat of 1 ½ mile in just two minutes and 24 seconds were few to mention. Let's also count Secretariat who succeeded in the 1973 Belmont Stakes where he won against his heaviest competitor by a remarkable 31 lengths. He was the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple crown in the year 1973.
 

A Race without a Crowd


Belmont’s first-timer Luca Panici clearing off the track. Image Source:
https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/belmont-stakes-jockey-luca-panici-after-race-abroad-sole-news-photo/1222710291?adppopup=true


The changes prompted by the pandemic made this the roughest edition, for the record. On top of all these, the 152nd run of Belmont Stakes was held without an actual audience to observe the race at the Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

 
As mentioned, the Belmont Stakes is typically the third leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown. At the same time, it is also known for the electric atmosphere created by the roars of 90,000 horse racing fans in New York.

 
Of course, the broadcast of the race is significantly enhanced by the live cheers but no audience was allowed last year so the audience watched from their homes instead.

 
To still provide an immersive broadcast, microphones were strapped on three jockeys. The records were integrated into the overall coverage so that the trainer's final instructions to the jockeys will be heard in the broadcast.
 

The Reign of Tiz the Law


Geared-up Jockey John Velazquez before the action. Image Source: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/belmont-stakes-jockey-john-velazquez-before-riding-tap-it-news-photo/1222710290?adppopup=true


Tiz the Law was a heavy favorite in the very beginning. He was already expected to become the first New York-bred horse to gain a victory in the Belmont Stakes for over a century. It was Forester who was the last horse to wave the banner of the Empire State in 1882.

 
The colt astoundingly completed the race at 1:46.53. He was steered by jockey Manny Franco who was in his third Triple Crown race. Tiz the Law bestowed Franco his very first win.

 
Franco was a 25-year-old jockey hailing from Puerto Rico. He joined the winner’s circle through his first career Belmont Stakes. Also, he even named Tiz the Law “versatile” equine among other horses in the lineup.

 

Tiz the Law benefitted from a 10-horse field undermined by injuries. He made an impressive play by shifting from eighth place to third. Franco surged forward in the lone turn and came ahead Dr. Post trained by Todd Pletcher and Max Player drilled by Linda Race.
 

The Worth of the Race


Jockey Manny Franco aboard Tiz the Law (8). Heavy favorite Tiz the Law maintaining the gap from other thoroughbreds at Belmont Stakes. Image Source: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/belmont-stakes-jockey-manny-franco-aboard-tiz-the-law-in-news-photo/1222710275?adppopup=true


Well, a Triple Crown race is anyhow expected to be crammed with bets. Apparently, Covid-19 took hold of other sports events. However, the Belmont Stakes was a spectacle that many would anticipate even in the middle of a pandemic.

 
Having no ecstatic crowd in the bleachers and being the earliest triple crown race of the year has certainly spoiled the betting amount on the Belmont. There is a 33.6% decrease from last year and 50.8% down from the year 2018 when Justify won the Triple Crown.

 
In 2019, Kentucky Derby's projected stakes worth is $165 million. It is followed by Belmont Stakes with a $53 million value.

 
This year’s Belmont Stakes total purse is worth $1 million. For the breakdown, $535,000 or 53.5% is dedicated to the winner. The second place earned $200,000 while the third place got $110,000. The one who deserved the fourth spot reaped $60,000 while the last placer earned the $30,000 prize.
 

Betting from Home


Trainer Barclay Tagg and Tiz the Law. Tiz the Law and trainer Barclay Tagg in a drill at Belmont Park. Image Source: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/belmont-stakes-morning-workout-trainer-barclay-tagg-leads-news-photo/1228944209?adppopup=true


Due to some schedule delays motivated by the global health crisis, the spectators' longing for excitement for the Belmont Stakes last year was lengthened as well.

 
Well, you can see signs outside the locked grandstand advising gamblers to place their bets by downloading a wagering app and have it done on their mobile phones. This means that audiences are strictly prohibited inside the venue.

 
Whether you prefer playing in slot machines and enjoy waiting for the casino doors to open or you’re a sports gambler who doesn't have the time to sit through 2.5 hours of a federal league, the mobile version of wagering is definitely a top choice for everybody.

 

Wagering can all be executed on a safe, well-regulated, and legitimate betting site. For Belmont Stakes, there is a wide range of betting sites that can be activated in just a couple of minutes, by going here - 

https://www.tvg.com/promos/belmont-stakes/betting-guide
 

 
Most of the time, the very first login would just require your name and email address. These two essential details could get you into the site where you can register and browse contents like the wagering guides for sports events such as the Belmont Stakes.
 

Takeaway


Many horse racing buffs disputed whether it's proper to call it a series since the pandemic has brought changes all over the place. Despite these shifts, the 2020 edition of Belmont Stakes was still uncontested in its reputation as a racing field of the best 3-year-old thoroughbreds in the world !
 
 
 
posted at: 2021-03-10 19:30:00, last updated: 2021-03-17 21:17:04

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