Met Mile Headlines Five Graded Stakes On Fourth Of July At Belmont Park

Posted By Fairway Jay on July 4, 2020 - Last Updated on July 3, 2020

The Grade 1 Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap is a “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race with the 127th edition held at Belmont Park on the Fourth of July. Widely known as the Met Mile, the one-mile race is for 3-year-olds and up and carries a reduced purse of $500,000 in 2020.

The Met Mile is Race 9 on Saturday at 5:47 p.m. ET and televised nationally by NBC from 5 to 6 p.m. The race is also livestreamed on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

The winner of the Met Mile receives an automatic fees-paid entry into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1) on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

Met Mile Post Positions and Odds 2020

The 2020 Metropolitan Handicap came up strong with eight starters combining for 20 Grade 1 wins headlined by McKinzie (four) and Code of Honor (two). McKinzie finished second in last year’s Met Mile.

PostHorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1Network Effect8/1I. Ortiz, Jr.C. Brown
2Vekoma5/2J. CastellanoG. Weaver
3McKinzie2/1M. SmithB. Baffert
4Hog Creek Hustle30/1J. OrtizV. Foley
5Code of Honor3/1J. VelazquezC. McGaughey
6Endorsed10/1J. RosarioW. Mott
7Mr Freeze8/1M. FrancoD. Romans
8Warrior's Charge12/1F. GerouxB. Cox

Met Mile Schedule and Race Details

The Metropolitan Handicap was moved back to July this year with the COVID-19 health crisis causing delays in race tracks reopening.

  • Date: Saturday, July 4, 2020
  • Time: 5:47 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC 5-6 p.m. ET
  • Tablet, online, mobile: NBC Sports app and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live and FuboTV
  • Track and location: Belmont Park in Elmont, New York
  • Distance: 1 mile (8 furlongs)
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Horses: 3-year-olds and up
  • Track Record: Frosted (2016) in 1:32.75

Five graded stakes are on the Independence Day card at Belmont Park. Along with the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, the other graded stakes races include:

  • $400,000 Manhattan (G1) for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/4 miles on turf
  • $200,000 Suburban (G2), for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/4 miles
  • $150,000 Poker (G3), for older horses at 1 mile on turf
  • $100,000 Victory Ride (G3) for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs

Met Mile History and Records

The Met Mile was first run in 1891 at Morris Park Racetrack and moved to Belmont Park in 1904. The race was not run for three years more than a century ago, and it was also held at Aqueduct Racetrack for eight years during the 1960s.

The Met Mile track record was set in 2016 by Frosted (1:32.73), and he also won by a record 14 ½ lengths. The 2018 Met Mile winner Mitole just missed the track record by .02 of a second. Jockey John Velazquez has won the race a record five times (1996-2014) and trainer John Gaver, Sr. won it a record six times (1940-1963).

The Met Mile post time favorite has won six of the last 10 editions and finished in the money all 10 races. Three of the last 10 races have been decided by a nose (N).

Year Winner/Margin Odds Payout Time Style Favorite
2019 Mitole 7–2 $9.00 01:32.75 Pace presser 2nd
2018 Bee Jersey 3–1 $8.50 01:33.1 Front runner (N) 1st
2017 Mor Spirit 5–2 $7.10 01:33.7 Pace presser 1st
2016 Frosted 2–1 $6.70 01:32.73 Stalking 1st
2015 Honor Code 7–1 $16.20 01:33.2 Deep closer 2nd
2014 Palace Malice 6–5 $4.70 01:33.6 Stalking 1st
2013 Sahara Sky 9–2 $11.60 01:34.1 Off pace, closer (N) 3rd
2012 Shackleford 7–2 $8.80 01:33.3 Front runner (N) 3rd
2012 Tizway 3–1 $8.20 01:32.9 Pace presser 1st
2011 Quality Road 2–5 $2.50 01:33.1 Front runner 1st
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