Saturday evening, the 152nd Belmont Stakes takes place and pits 10 horses and their jockeys against each other. This is the first event in the 2020 American Triple Crown and marks the return of horse racing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There won't be fans at Belmont Park on Saturday, but they will have access to the live feed of the event with the NBC coverage.
Heading into Saturday's race, there are several questions about the Belmont Stakes. Which horse has the best odds? Will one of the Secretariat's descendants secure the victory and continue the winning legacy? How will NBC and the New York Racing Association handle the ongoing health and safety concerns due to the coronavirus? Fans and viewers alike have many questions ahead of the post time and are looking for answers before the horses head to the track. Here's everything to know about the Belmont Stakes.
Coverage for the 152nd Belmont Stakes starts at 2:45 p.m. ET but the main event takes place at approximately 5:42 p.m. ET. NBC will air several races prior to set the stage for the Belmont Stakes. Nine races take place on Saturday, running from 11:45 a.m. until deep into the afternoon. The final race prior to the Belmont Stakes has a post time of 4:53 p.m. ET.prevnext
Heading toward Saturday's race, Tiz the Law faces the best odds to secure the win at 6-5. Other top competitors are Tap It To Win (6-1), Dr. Post (5-1), Pneumatic (8-1) and Sole Volante (9-2). Jungle Runner (50-1) and Fore Left (30-1) are currently longshots ahead of Saturday's race. Max Player, Farmington Road and Modernist round out the list with 15-1 odds.prevnext
Following an annual tradition, NBC Sports will provide coverage for the Belmont Stakes. Viewers can also stream the entire event on NBC Sports' website or the NBC Sports app. Both options require logging in with pay-TV credentials from a cable or satellite company. Sling TV, Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV, FuboTV and AT&T TV Now also have access to NBC in some areas.prevnext
Work From Home
Traditionally, host Mike Tirico would be at the Belmont for the Triple Crown race. The coronavirus pandemic disrupted those plans and forced NBC Sports to make adjustments. Tirico will now broadcast from Stamford, Connecticut, along with analyst Randy Moss. Analyst Jerry Bailey and handicapper Eddie Olczyk will participate in the broadcast from their respective homes in Florida and Chicago.prevnext
Out of Order
Traditionally, the Belmont Stakes is the final race in the Triple Crown of horse racing. The Kentucky Derby is first, Preakness Stakes is second and Belmont is last. The coronavirus pandemic disrupted this schedule amid states shutting down all events. The Kentucky Derby moved to early September while Preakness headed to October.prevnext
Following a trend of recent sports events in the United States, the Belmont Stakes will not allow fans due to the ongoing pandemic. They will only watch the races from home, courtesy of NBC Sports. In order to provide enhanced coverage, NBC will mike three jockeys and incorporate this audio into the mix. The broadcast will also use extra microphones at the starting gate and on the final stretch to further enhance the experience.prevnext
NBC Sports is well aware of the health and safety concerns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, the broadcaster made several changes to the race-day procedures. Instead of a 200-person on-site crew, NBC Sports will rely on only 50 people at the track. They must all pass a temperature check prior to entering the facilities and must abide by established social distancing procedures. NBC distributed PPE kits to all crew members that include masks, sanitizing equipment, and thermometers.prev