NYRA’s revised schedule for 25-day Belmont spring/summer meet heralds return of NY-bred stakes action

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

By Sarah Mace

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has announced the stakes schedule for an abbreviated 25-day Belmont spring/summer meet which will run from Wednesday, June 3 through Sunday July 12.

As the connections of Empire State-breds will be pleased to discover, the six New York-Bred Big Apple Showcase races, originally scheduled to be run together on May 25, have been seeded throughout June and July on the new schedule. Moreover, we know that team Tiz the Law is pointing to the historic 152nd renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes which will take place on Saturday, June 20.

Originally scheduled for 51 days from April 24 through July 12, the shorter Belmont spring/summer meet will offer at least one stakes race each day. Following a five-day opening week, live racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday.

The six New York-Bred Big Apple Showcase races will be run singly in June and July as follows:

Friday, June 12: Commentator H. (NYB) $125,000 3&UP 1 Mile
Sunday, June 14: Mike Lee (NYB) $100,000 3YO 7 Furlongs
Thursday, June 18: Critical Eye H. (NYB) $125,000 F&M 3&UP 1 Mile
Sunday, June 28: Bouwerie (NYB) $100,000 F3YO 7 Furlongs
Thursday, July 2: Mount Vernon (NYB) $100,000 F&M 4&UP 1 Mile (Turf)
Sunday, July 5: Kingston (NYB) $100,000 4&UP 1 1/16 (Turf)

The new Belmont schedule also adds a pair of overnight sprint stakes on grass restricted to New York-breds, which are named for New York-bred turf luminaries Hessonite and Banrock.

Friday, June 26: Hessonite (NYB) 75,000 F&M 4&UP 6 Furlongs (Turf)
Thursday, July 9: Banrock (NYB) 75,000 4&UP 6 Furlongs (Turf)

The centerpiece of the meet will of course be the 152nd renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes. The race will be contested at nine furlongs, rather than the traditional 1 1/2-mile distance established in 1926. For the first time in history, it will serve as the opening leg of the Triple Crown.

Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg have been pointing star New York-bred sophomore Tiz the Law to this historic contest since shortly after his victory in the Grade 1, $750,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 28, which they had to celebrate remotely. The Constitution colt is posting regular works at Palm Meadows and will ship to New York on or around June 1.


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