BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time in the history of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes will be the final leg of the series across several months.
The major shakeup comes after the New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced Tuesday that the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes would take place on June 20th with no fans in attendance.
With the announcement, the schedule for this year’s Triple Crown is now set after previously being up in the air due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic:
- Belmont Stakes: June 20th
- Kentucky Derby: September 5th
- Preakness Stakes: October 3rd
The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the races, having first been run in 1867 at Jerome Park and has traditionally been the last and most grueling of the three races due to its distance and slot in the schedule. That distance has changed this year as well, moving from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles the shortest distance for the race since 1894.
While the Preakness and Kentucky Derby were in different orders over the early years of the establishment of the races, the order of Derby, Preakness, Belmont has been the same every year since 1931.
Also of note is the length of time between races with 11 weeks in between the Belmont and Derby and another four weeks between the Derby and Preakness.
The total purse is $1 million.