Handicapping Saturday’s 12-race card for Belmont Stakes Day, in Elmont, New York, is about as bittersweet of a sports moment as I have had personally since going into lockdown back in mid-March.
Belmont Stakes Day is one of my favorite traditions — and Belmont Park is a place where I have been fortunate enough to witness history, twice, as American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018) completed their runs for the Triple Crown. The sound of the grandstand as American Pharoah pulled away down the stretch will stay with me forever.
The 2020 Belmont Stakes Day card isn’t as dense as it has been in previous years, in what has amounted to a mid-season Breeder’s Cup equivalent.
Last year, NYRA featured nine graded stakes races, including eight Grade 1 affairs, whereas the 2020 edition only features six graded stakes races, including four Grade 1 events.
My single favorite stakes race, the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile, was moved to the July 4 Belmont card, along with the Manhattan Stakes (G-1), which typically precedes the Belmont Stakes.
Saturday’s racing at Belmont Park goes to post at 11:45 a.m. ET – which starts the early $0.50 Pick 5.
Here are the other vital multi-race sequences on the card:
- Race 2, 12:25 p.m ET ($0.50 Pick 4)
- Race 5, 2:19 p.m. ET ($0.20 Empire Pick 6)
- Race 6, 3:01 p.m. ET (Mandatory Payout Pick 5)
- Race 7, 3:39 p.m. ET ($0.50 Pick 4)
- Race 8, 4:15 p.m. ET ($0.50 Late Pick 5)
- Race 9, 4:53 p.m. ET ($0.50 Late Pick 4)
As a result, I will