The first leg of the Triple Crown is…the Belmont Stakes?
Yes, it is. Thanks, 2020!
The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of racetracks across America forced substantial changes to the racing calendar. That means the Kentucky Derby was postponed until September 5 and the Preakness to October 3. The Belmont Stakes, however, decided not to reschedule to late October or November. Normally, the third in the three races that comprise horse racing’s famous Triple Crown, is the third race in the trio but this year decided to be first.
All because of Covid-19.
Even so, the reorganization of the Triple Crown this year doesn’t take away from the Belmont Stakes’ prestige and the excitement surrounding it.
Today, June 20, is America’s Day at the Races. And there is quite a lot for race fans to celebrate throughout the day.
The broadcast schedule is important to all but the very few people who can be at Belmont Park in person. There are several networks providing coverage today:
- FS1 (Fox Sports 1): 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. ET
- FS 2 (Fox Sports 2): 2-3 p.m. ET and 6-7 p.m. ET
- NBC: 2:45-6 p.m. ET
- MSG+ (Madison Square Garden Plus): 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. ET and 6-7 p.m. ET
- FS Regionals (Fox Sports): 1-3 p.m. ET and 6-7 p.m. ET
The FS Regionals include all regional networks, from Midwest to Florida, Southeast to Ohio, and South to Arizona.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) produces America’s Day at the Races on NBC. Greg Wolf will be the main host, though he will share the broadcast booth with experts like Andy Serling, Maggie Wolfendale, Richard Migliore, Gary Stevens, Michelle Yu, Nancy Holthus, Laffit Pincay III, Acacia Courtney, and Jonathon Kinchen.
— NYRA (🌳) (@TheNYRA) June 20, 2020
For the adults watching at home or at a party, they will need to craft a solid Belmont Jewel for the day.
According to the Belmont Stakes website, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon must be used to make it exactly as Belmont Park would do it. (Don’t tell anyone, but other bourbons might do the trick.) The recipe is:
- 5 oz. bourbon
- 2 oz. lemonade
- 1 oz. pomegranate juice
- Orange zest
Shake with ice and serve on the rocks. Some garnish with a lemon as well.
To balance it out, food is good, if for nothing else than to sop up some of the alcohol in the system. The Belmont Stakes offered up some recipes for everyone, including the perfect way to make bourbon-grilled ribeye steaks and how to finish it off with a luscious-sounding Beeramisu.
Whether betting on the race or now, the Belmont Stakes is more exciting when viewers know more about the horses. Playfecta reported the pole positions and other details earlier this week.
The Belmont Stakes website offers more details on each of the runners, links to previous races involving the runners, and a tip sheet.
America’s Day at the Races is also hosting “The Showdown,” an online contest for adults. It involves placing virtual (not real) bets on live races happening at Belmont Park, and the winners of leaderboards and contests earn points.
The full contest began on June 3 and runs through July 12, but there is a special version of “The Showdown” today, June 20.
It is all free and in fun, but there is a serious pool of $5,000 in prizes to be won. Competitors must create a free account to participate.
— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) June 20, 2020