The 153rd Belmont Stakes is back this weekend. The annual event is set to air on Saturday, June 5, from 3-5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 5-7 p.m. on NBC.
At least 11,000 fans are expected to attend this year’s Belmont Stakes. Social distancing will also be mandatory, and spectators must be vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19.
Per tradition, the race is the last leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. As with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, it’s also a Grade I Thoroughbred stakes race. The Belmont Stakes is also 1 1/2 miles, or 12 furlongs, making it the longest race in the Triple Crown.
However, due to the pandemic, last year’s Belmont Stakes was the first Triple Crown race run and was moved back from Saturday, June 6 to Saturday, June 20.
Moreover, the race was shortened to 1 1/8-miles (9 furlongs) “to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training,” the New York Racing Association wrote in a statement.
The History Behind the Race
The horses are set to run on the dirt track, known as “Big Sandy,” at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The race first began in 1867, making it the oldest jewel in the Triple Crown.
However, the race didn’t actually run in 1911 or 1912, making the Kentucky Derby the longest continuous sporting event. The Belmont has also always been run in or nearby New York City, having raced at Jerome Park, Morris Park, Aqueduct, and Belmont.
Aside from being the last hurdle for Triple Crown racers, the Belmont is known for Secretariat’s 31st consecutive victory in 1973, which cemented his Triple Crown title and set the current world record at 2:24 for 1 1/2 miles on dirt.
NBC will provide comprehensive race coverage, and analysis live before, during, and after the main event. All coverage is available on NBCSports.com as well as the NBC Sports app as well.
Belmont Stakes: The 2021 field
PP Horse, trainer, jockey, latest odds
(Odds as of Noon ET Saturday)
1. Bourbonic, Todd Pletcher, Kendrick Carmouche, 9-1
2. Essential Quality, Brad Cox, Luis Saez, 2-1
3. Rombauer, Michael McCarthy, John Velazquez, 8-1
4. Hot Rod Charlie, Doug O’Neill, Flavien Prat, 3-1
5. France Go de Ina, Hideyuki Mori, Ricardo Santana Jr., 19-1
6. Known Agenda, Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-2
7. Rock Your World, John Sadler, Joel Rosario, 4-1
8. Overtook, Todd Pletcher, Manny Franco, 13-1