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Tiz the Law has won an unprecedented Belmont Stakes, claiming victory at the first race of a rejiggered Triple Crown schedule and crossing the finish line in front of eerily empty grandstands.
There is never a sure thing in racing.
It's been 17 years since Jack Knowlton and his Sackatoga Stable pals rode yellow school buses to the Belmont Stakes. It was a rollicking party on wheels for the group that came to watch their colt Funny Cide try to sweep the Triple Crown.
Tiz the Law was made the early 6-5 favorite for the Belmont Stakes this weekend.
The Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 in New York in front of no fans as the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown
Tacitus was well-rested for a run on his home track. It just didn’t work out. The favored Tacitus finished second to Sir Winston in the Belmont Stakes. The 3-year-old colt, who skipped the Preakness after finishing third in the Kentucky Derby, had one of the worst trips of his career.
Sir Winston gave the Triple Crown another unexpected turn, rallying in the stretch to capture the Belmont Stakes in a 10-1 upset. The win gave trainer Mark Casse the final two jewels of the showcase for 3-year-old thoroughbreds.
This is a Triple Crown season that will be remembered, though probably should be forgotten.
Trainer Bill Mott comes to the Belmont Stakes after what has been a chaotic Triple Crown season for him. Mott won the Kentucky Derby with Country House, becoming the first trainer to win the showcase race after the horse that crossed the finish line first was disqualified. It was an awkward time for Mott. Still, he was happy for the win. Now, Mott has the Belmont favorite. And he hopes Tacitus will give him his second Triple Crown win this year. And this time without the mayhem.
High-definition monitors used by broadcaster Larry Collmus for the first time at Justify’s foggy Preakness victory in 2018 and the “BatCam” that runs on a zip line are now prominent pieces of NBC Sports’ Triple Crown telecasts that have revolutionized the game and made no weather situation too tough to handle. They’ll be on display again Saturday at the Belmont Stakes to document a showdown between favored Tacitus and Preakness winner War of Will.
Tyler Gaffalione has become horse racing’s rising star jockey after winning the Preakness and can add to his already impressive resume in the Belmont.
Tacitus was made the slight favorite over Preakness winner War of Will in a Belmont Stakes that wraps up a whacky Triple Crown. Tacitus and War of Will got the outside No. 10 and 9 post positions, respectively, in the draw at Citi Field, but those should not be a problem in the 1 1/2-mile race on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The home of the Belmont is laps ahead of other U.S. racetracks when it comes to keeping horses safe. Belmont Park and other tracks around the state of New York have had some of the fewest horse deaths in the sport. Amid the 26 horse deaths at California’s Santa Anita Park since late December, the Belmont will be run Saturday on a track that national observers say is among the safest and best maintained in the country.
The future of Pimlico Race Course has become a tug of war between Baltimore officials and the track owners. At the center of the battle is the Preakness. City officials want to keep the second leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico. The Stronach Group believes racing in Maryland would thrive far better at nearby Laurel Park. While many trainers are fine with keeping the Preakness at Pimlico, it’s going to take more than $420 million to renovate the crumbling facility.
Justify led all the way to win the Belmont Stakes and become horse racing’s 13th Triple Crown champion and second in four years. The chestnut colt is the second undefeated horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. He improved to 6-0 in a racing career that began on Feb. 18. Seattle Slew was unbeaten when he won the Triple Crown in 1977. Bob Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice. He did so with American Pharoah in 2015.
When Playfair closed the gates on its final meet on Dec. 17, 2000, local racing fans were forced to find other outlets to follow their favorite sport. Like a congregation without a church, Playfair’s flock dispersed. So when Justify bursts from the gate at Belmont Park this afternoon, Playfair’s former patrons will be watching from living rooms, barrooms, casinos, dog tracks, billiard rooms and bowling alleys.
This afternoon at Belmont Park, Justify looks to join the highest stratum of horse racing immortality by becoming the 13th thoroughbred to win the Triple Crown in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.
Walking into Belmont Park is like old home week for Mike Smith. The jockey knows the vast track with its sweeping turns like the back of his hand. Fans who remember him from his successful years riding the New York circuit will hoot and holler.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify has arrived in New York ahead of Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. The colt will try to sweep the Triple Crown. American Pharoah did it in 2015 to become the 12th horse to do so. Justify traveled to Belmont Park on a flight from Louisville and a van ride from an airport on Long Island.
The only thing Bob Baffert wanted to do in horse racing was win the Triple Crown. Been there, done that. The Hall of Fame trainer captured horse racing’s biggest prize in 2015 with American Pharoah. Justify could become racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner and second in four years if he wins the Belmont Stakes. Says Baffert: “I’ve won it so I’m actually going to enjoy this a little bit more.”