Tiz the Law reigned as the even-money favorite early Saturday morning leading up to the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes, which is set to take place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, as usual.
The location is one of the few things that this running has in common with past races. We'll go through some changes and notes for this year as well as some further event information below. For now, check out some projected prize money earnings, a predicted order of finish and the early morning odds.
Projected Prize Money Earnings
Source: Dan Bernstein of Sporting News.
Predicted Order of Finish and Odds
1. Tiz the Law (1-1)
2. Sole Volante (11-1)
3. Tap It to Win (4-1)
4. Dr Post (7-1)
5. Max Player (11-1)
6. Fore Left (13-1)
7. Farmington Road (13-1)
8. Modernist (19-1)
9. Pneumatic (22-1)
10. Jungle Runner (24-1)
Information via Belmont Stakes' website as of 12 a.m. ET Saturday.
Belmont Stakes Changes and Notes
The third jewel of the Triple Crown will be the first in 2020 because of a restructured horse-racing schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kentucky Derby will take place on Sept. 5, with the Preakness following on Oct. 3.
That's not the only change the Belmont Stakes will see.
No fans will be permitted in the stands, which will be a jarring sight considering that Belmont Park once held more than 120,000 spectators to see whether Smarty Jones could win the Triple Crown. He finished third to long shot Birdstone.
In addition, the dirt-track race will be shortened from 1 ½ miles to 1 ⅛ miles in order to compensate for the fact that the three-year-olds haven't been racing as much because of the coronavirus pandemic-related cancelations of swaths of spring races, per NYRA chief executive David O'Rourke, speaking to Joe Drape of the New York Times in May.
The payouts have also been cut from $1.5 million in 2019 to $1 million in 2020, with O'Rourke citing casino closures because of the COVID-19. Business is booming in Las Vegas as of June, although it isn't in other areas, including Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Although the Belmont will be different in some noticeable ways, it will feel the same in others.
NBC will still carry the broadcast, with pre-race coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET and the post time slated for approximately 5:42 p.m. NBC Sports Live will be the live-stream home.
New York, which has not hosted a major sporting event since the Big East men's basketball tournament March 12, will host the Belmont Stakes once again. The weather looks great for Saturday, per the National Weather Service, with a high of 81 degrees and partly sunny skies forecasted.
The Belmont will also feature the same amount of horses as last year (10) despite some potential contenders forced to sit out because of injury: Charlatan and Nadal, both of whom are trained by two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert.
Nadal was forced to retire because of a condylar fracture, per comments Baffert made to Bob Ehalt and Bob King of BloodHorse. Charlatan has a filling in his front ankle, per Baffert (h/t Alex Walker of WKYT).
The Belmont also features a clear favorite—Tiz the Law—which has been commonplace in recent years.
It's a bit different in 2020, with the Belmont moving from the back to the front, but Triple Crown season finally gets set to kick off Saturday.