Thanks to a push around the final turn, overwhelming favorite Tiz the Law won the 152nd edition of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
Tiz the Law, jockeyed by Manuel Franco, hung out in the third position right out of the gate on the shortened track. The horse finally made his move around the final turn, surging ahead on the outside to claim the lead. From there, he never looked back.
Tiz the Law cruised down the stretch, easily claiming the win by nearly four lengths with a time of 1:46.53. The New York-bred colt, the first from the state to win the race since 1882, is owned by Jack Knowlton and Sackatoga Stable. He was trained by Barclay Tagg, who is now the oldest trainer to win the Belmont Stakes at 82.
Dr. Post and Max Player finished second and third, respectively.
The Belmont Stakes is usually the longest of the three major races each year at 1½ miles, however, that distance was reduced significantly this year due to the abnormal adjustment of the racing calendar amid the COVID-19 pandemic — which prohibited the horses’ ability to prepare properly for such a long race. The track was shortened to just 1⅛ miles instead, which made it the shortest of the three events. The race was started in the top right corner of the track instead of in front of the empty grandstands, as no fans were allowed in as a precaution due to the coronavirus.
The Belmont Stakes, traditionally the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, was pushed back by two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, too. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially cleared horse racing to resume in the state on June 1.
The Kentucky Derby, usually held on the first Saturday in May each year, was rescheduled to Sept. 5. The Preakness Stakes will then conclude the series on Oct. 3, as it was delayed from its initial run date of May 16.
Tiz the Law, should he win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, would become the third horse since 2015 to win the Triple Crown, following American Pharoah’s win in 2015 and Justify’s in 2018.