NYRA statement regarding the 2020 Belmont Stakes
by Pat McKenna
On Tuesday morning, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced that the 2020 Kentucky Derby, originally scheduled for May 2, has been postponed and will now be run on Saturday, September 5. In response, New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) CEO & President Dave O'Rourke issued the following statement.
"NYRA is working closely with all appropriate parties, including media rights holder NBC Sports, to make a determination about the timing of the 2020 Belmont Stakes. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend American life, decisions about large-scale public events must prioritize public health and safety above all else. NYRA will deliver an announcement only when that process has concluded to the satisfaction of state and local health departments. The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution with wide-reaching economic impact. We look forward to its 152nd edition in 2020."
About the Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes is an American tradition inaugurated in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack and moved in 1905 to its familiar home at beautiful Belmont Park. As the third leg of racing's Triple Crown, the 1 ½-mile "Test of the Champion," as the Belmont Stakes is known, has showcased many of history's greatest thoroughbreds.
Two of those Triple Crown triumphs have come in the last five years, with American Pharoah ending a 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015 and Justify capping a perfect 6-for-6 career with a Triple Crown-clinching effort in 2018.
The 152nd running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes is currently scheduled to be contested on Saturday, June 6 as the highlight of the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
For additional information, visit BelmontStakes.com.
About the New York Racing Association
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State's thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact.
Accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, NYRA is a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, a group of the nation's leading racing organizations working collaboratively to advance safety reforms across the sport.
Over the course of 217 days of live racing in 2019, NYRA generated more than $2.1 billion in all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.5 million.