Belmont Stakes moved to June 20 without fans
Jockey Joel Rosario aboard Sir Winston after winning last year's Belmont Stakes. Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY 

Belmont Stakes moved to June 20 without fans as race is shortened

The Triple Crown series won't be business as usual in multiple ways this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As reported by ESPN and other outlets, the New York Racing Association announced Tuesday that the Belmont Stakes has been rescheduled from June 6 to June 20. The race has been shortened from 1½ miles to 1⅛ miles, and fans will not be permitted to attend.

NYRA president Dave O'Rourke offered the following statement:

"The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times. While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020. Thanks to our partners at NBC Sports, fans across the country can look forward to a day of exceptional thoroughbred racing at a time when entertainment and sports are so important to providing a sense of normalcy."

The Triple Crown's other races were previously rescheduled. The Kentucky Derby was moved from May 2 to Sept. 5, and the Preakness Stakes will serve as the final leg on Oct. 3.

It's not yet known if spectators will be welcomed to either of those events. As with any scheduled sports competitions, the dates for these races are subject to change based upon local stay-at-home orders and future virus outbreaks. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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