- 25 Day Carnival announced for New York
- Racing to return from Wednesday, June 3
- Five-consecutive G1 Super Saturday cards at Belmont Park
- Belmont Stakes to kick-start the beginning of the Triple Crown
In a never-seen-before move, this year’s Triple Crown will start, not finish, with the Belmont Stakes.
The New York Racing Authority (NYRA) announced Carnival with a raft of changes to their racing schedule today which has been significantly shortened.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, live racing will resume at Belmont Park on June 3 with a strict set of protocols and health measures in place.
“The resumption of live racing at Belmont Park on June 3, with all appropriate health and safety protocols in place,” said NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke.
“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.”
What the 25-day NYRA carnival lacks in length, it has made up for in quality with Belmont Park to host five-consecutive Super Saturday racecards, all which feature Grade 1 races.
The Triple Crown has taken on a new look.
Traditionally the last-leg of America’s premier series, it is now being run on June 20 at Belmont Park.
The Kentucky Derby which is typically the first leg of the Triple Crown, has been rescheduled for September 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Preakness Stakes at Pimlico racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland, has been shifted to October 3.
The American series is usually run over the course of six weeks, but this year it will be run of a 15-week schedule.
The 25-day carnival will through through to Sunday, July 12.
But the Belmont Stakes moves to one and one-eighths miles rather than its traditional one and one-half miles.
It has shifted as a race based on stamina to one now made for sprinters. Due to the shorter distance, it’s likely that the field will be made larger.
NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said it was exciting news for sports fans during “challenging times”.
“While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020.”
Notably absent from the revised schedule of NYRA carnival is the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational and the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational.
The Turf Triple Crown equivalent will be run in 2020 however dates are yet to be formalised.
SUPER SATURDAY GRADE 1 RACES
JUN 06 – Runhappy Carter Handicap ($250,000)
JUN 13 – Ogden Phipps ($300,000)
JUN 20 – Belmont Stakes ($1,000,000), Acorn ($300,000), Jaipur ($250,000), Woody Stephens ($250,000)
JUN 27 – Just A Game Stakes ($300,000)
JUL 04 – Runhappy Metropolitan ($500,000), Manhattan Handicap ($500,000)