The Triple Crown: The Last Race is Now The First
Last year when Sir Winston became the winner of the 151st Belmont Stakes if you had told people that in 2020 the Belmont would be the first leg of the Triple Crown instead of the last you would have been laughed right off the track. Turns out though, you would have been right. Due to COVID 19 the Triple Crown has had to rearrange the entire schedule.
The first race to reschedule was the Kentucky Derby. Move from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020 it was believed that it would become the final race for this year's Triple Crown. Organizers at the time knew they couldn't run the race with everything shutdown so they moved it out far enough that hopefully horses,trainers and spectators could all attend the running for the roses at Churchill Downs.
Since then more has had to be changed. The Preakness which should have been held at Pimlico on May 16th is now scheduled for October 3rd. This means that the race that is usually run in the middle will be the race everyone is watching for the Triple Crown Winner. But first we must run the Belmont.
According to Sports Illustrated online in an article from May 19th, The Belmont Stakes will now be the first leg of the Triple Crown for 2020. The date has been moved from June 6, 2020 to June 20, 2020 and the race will be run with no spectators just like NASCAR. This could actually make the race weird for the horses. Most of these horses are use to coming out on the track for a big race like this and hearing the crowds. The quiet of the track could result in horses not realizing they are actually in the first leg of the triple crown but instead just out on the track for a run. We will find out on June 20th.
Since I was little the Triple Crown has always been something I enjoyed following. My dad's grew up across the river from the Kentucky Derby so it was always part of the family plans in the Spring. One of my favorite road trips in the 80's included us stopping at Church Hill Downs and standing in the winner's circle. The only one of the three annual races I have ever attended in person was the Belmont Stakes.