Belmont Stakes to be Run on June 20 as First Leg of Triple Crown

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The 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be held in June as the opening leg of the Triple Crown.

The Belmont Stakes will take place on June 20 ahead of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, which have been rescheduled for the fall. This marks the first year the Belmont will be run first.

No fans will be in attendance at the event due to the coronavirus pandemic. The race will be run at a distance of 1 1/8 miles instead of its usual 1 1/2 miles due to the changes in the Triple Crown schedule and the horses' training. 

"The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times," said NYRA President & CEO Dave O'Rourke in a statement. "Fans across the country can look forward to a day of exceptional thoroughbred racing at a time when entertainment and sports are so important to providing a sense of normalcy."

The announcement comes one day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked major sports teams in the state to plan to reopen their seasons without fans.

The Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown, was rescheduled from May 2 to September 5, and the Preakness Stakes was moved from May 16 to October 3.