The spectator-less Belmont Stakes took place this past Saturday in Elmont, NY. The first leg of the Triple Crown appeared a bit different in 2020.
Instead of beginning with the Kentucky Derby, the coronavirus caused some scheduling changes. Usually the last leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont was shortened and ran first this year.
The favorite Tiz the Law came away with the win. He is a New York-bred horse trained by Barclay Tagg. He will be moving on to the Kentucky Derby, set for Sept. 5, then the Preakness on Oct. 3 to try to achieve the Triple Crown.
He was the 4/5 favorite and won by just over three lengths. Tiz the Law finished the mile and an eighth in 1 minute, 46 seconds.
“I’m just glad I lived long enough that I got another horse like this,” Tagg said. “Everything just went like clockwork.”
Tagg said he even enjoyed the quiet racetrack for a change. Horse racing gave fans one of the first looks of how sporting events may look for the next couple of months.
Order of finish for the 152nd Belmont Stakes:
- Tiz the Law
- Dr Post
- Max Player
- Tap It to Win
- Sole Volante
- Farmington Road
- Fore Left
- Jungle Runner
The horses entered the track as usual with “New York, New York” playing from the speakers. However, there were no fans to sing along. Governor Andrew Cuomo issued his “Rider’s Up” call remotely.
Knowlton, from New York’s Sackatoga Stable, was happy to get the win with Tiz the Law regardless of the circumstances.
“It’s tremendous,” Knowlton said. “We just buy New York-breds, that’s our game. We don’t spend a lot of money. We’ve been with Barclay Tagg for 25 years. I keep telling everybody Barclay doesn’t get a lot of big horses and big opportunities, but when he gets them, he knows what to do.”
Manny Franco was the 25-year-old jockey that rode Tiz the Law. This was his first start in the Belmont Stakes and got his first victory along with it.
“It means a lot to me,” Franco said. “This is my home track. I’ve ridden here for about six years already. One leg of the Triple Crown is the dream of any jockey. I’m happy with the opportunity I have right now.”
Not Quite Enough
Many fans had their eyes on Dr. Post and Farmington Road, both trained by Todd Pletcher. He, along with Bob Baffert, is one of the most known horse trainers in the industry. Dr. Post got close and will likely have a chance to win in the Kentucky Derby.
Linda Rice was trying to be the first female jockey champion in a Triple Crown race. She came just short aboard Max Player but will also be likely to compete in the Kentucky Derby.
Now there is an unusual wait for the next race of the triple crown. Usually just a few weeks away, fans must wait through the rest of June and all of July for the Kentucky Derby.