With sports slowly beginning to return we have good news for horse racing fans, the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes is going to happen. NYRA announced today that the Belmont Stakes will take place on June 20th. Not only is this a welcome return for sports fans but this will give those of us who love the Saratoga meet an example of what this summer could look like in Upstate New York.

Per a press release from NYRA the Belmont Stakes will run without fans in attendance.

To align with required health and safety measures implemented in New York to mitigate risk and combat the spread of COVID-19, the Belmont Stakes will be held without spectators in attendance.

"The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times," said NYRA President & CEO Dave O'Rourke. "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."

I will, of course, miss my trips to the track if this is indeed the model that will be instituted this summer in Saratoga as well but it'll be nice to have racing back. I for one enjoy the NYRA Bets app and will be thankful, with how much the COVID-19 pandemic has taken from sports fans to have racing back with or without fans.

As it stands now the Belmont will run on June 20th, Kentucky Derby on September 5th and The Preakness on October 3rd.