How to watch the 2021 Belmont Stakes: Live stream online, TV channel, post time for today’s race

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The Belmont Stakes returns to early June and closes out a dramatic 2021 Triple Crown, only on NBC Sports.

The 153rd Belmont Stakes airs on Saturday, June 5 from 3-5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 5-7 p.m. on NBC. Coverage is also available on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app. NBC Sports will also broadcast from Belmont Park on Friday, June 4 from 5-6 p.m. ET with live racing, insider previews and expert betting tips.

Eight days after the 147th Kentucky Derby, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert announced his Derby winner Medina Spirit had failed a post-race drug test. The Florida-born colt tested positive for 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, which was later revealed to be from a topical ointment called Otomax used to treat dermatitis on his hind end.

Churchill Downs immediately suspended him from running any horses at the track, and the Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club set terms, including vigorous drug testing, for Baffert in order to run Medina Spirit in the Preakness the following Saturday.

On Saturday, May 15 in Maryland, Michael McCarthy‘s under-the-radar runner Rombauer romped past favorites Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon to win the 146th Preakness Stakes.

The New York Racing Association has banned Baffert, pending further investigation into Medina Spirit’s post-Derby drug test.

Just days before the 2021 Belmont Stakes on June 2, Medina Spirit’s positive drug test was confirmed, and Churchill Downs issued a two-year suspension for Baffert. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission could disqualify Medina Spirit, elevating second-place finisher Mandaloun to first.

At least 11,000 fans are expected to attend the Belmont Stakes. Social distancing will be mandatory, and spectators must be vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19.

What is the Belmont Stakes?

The Belmont Stakes is traditionally the last leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. Like the Derby and the Preakness, it’s a Grade I Thoroughbred stakes races. The Belmont Stakes is 1 1/2 miles, or 12 furlongs, which makes it the longest race in the Triple Crown.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Belmont Stakes was the first Triple Crown race run and was moved back from Saturday, June 6 to Saturday, June 20, and the race was shortened to 1 1/8-miles (9 furlongs) “to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training,” the New York Racing Association said in a statement.

The Belmont is run on the dirt track (also known as “Big Sandy”) at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It was first raced in 1867, making it the oldest jewel in the Triple Crown (and the fourth oldest race in North America). However, the race wasn’t run in 1911 or 1912, which is why the Kentucky Derby is still the longest continuous sporting event in the country. The Belmont always been run in or around New York City, having raced at Jerome Park (now closed), Morris Park (also closed) and Aqueduct in addition to Belmont, which is just east of Queens.

When is the 2021 Belmont Stakes?

The 153rd Belmont Stakes is on Saturday, June 5. NBC Sports will broadcast live from Belmont Park on June 5 from 3-5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 5-7 p.m. on NBC. Post time is set for approximately 6:49 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2021 Belmont Stakes?

NBC is home to the 153rd Belmont Stakes, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live before, during and after the main event. Get started with NBCSN on Friday, June 4 from 5 to 6 p.m. ET. NBCSN coverage continues on Saturday, June 5 at 3 p.m. before moving to NBC at 5 p.m. All coverage is available on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app as well.

Watch the 153rd Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 5 from 3 to 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 5 to 7 p.m. on NBC. Coverage is also available on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Appeals court strikes down federal horseracing rules act

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NEW ORLEANS — Congress unconstitutionally gave too much power to a nonprofit authority it created in 2020 to develop and enforce horseracing rules, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled Friday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, or HISA, is “facially unconstitutional.”

The authority created by the act was meant to bring uniform policies and enforcement to horseracing amid doping scandals and racetrack horse deaths. But the 5th Circuit – in two rulings issued Friday – ruled in favor of opponents of the act in lawsuits brought by horseracing associations and state officials in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia.

The Federal Trade Commission has the ultimate authority to approve or reject HISA regulations, but it can’t modify them. And the authority can reject proposed modifications.

Three 5th Circuit judges agreed with opponents of the act – including the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and similar groups in multiple states – that the setup gave too much power to the nongovernmental authority and too little to the FTC.

“A cardinal constitutional principle is that federal power can be wielded only by the federal government. Private entities may do so only if they are subordinate to an agency,” Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan wrote for the panel that ruled in the Texas case.

The same panel, which also included judges Carolyn Dineen King and Kurt Engelhardt, cited the Texas ruling in a separate order in favor of horseracing interests and regulators challenging HISA in a different case.

The chair of the horseracing authority’s board of directors said it would ask for further court review. Friday’s ruling could be appealed to the full 5th Circuit court of the Supreme Court.

“If today’s ruling were to stand, it would not go into effect until January 10, 2023 at the earliest,” Charles Scheeler said in an email. “We are focused on continuing our critical work to protect the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing, including the launch of HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program on January 1, 2023.”

The ruling was criticized by Marty Irby, executive director of the Animal Wellness Action organization. “Over the course of three Congresses, the most brilliant legal minds on Capitol Hill addressed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s constitutionality and ultimately decided that the Federal Trade Commission’s limited oversight was sufficient,” Irby said in an email.

Among the subjects covered by the authority’s rules and enforcement were jockey safety (including a national concussion protocol), the riding crop and how often riders can use it during a race, racetrack accreditation, and the reporting of training and veterinary records.

Animal rights groups, who supported the law, pointed to scandals in the industry involving medication and the treatment of horses.

Duncan wrote that in declaring HISA unconstitutional, “we do not question Congress’s judgment about problems in the horseracing industry. That political call falls outside our lane.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, hailed the ruling on Twitter, calling HISA a “federal takeover of Louisiana horse racing.”

Fractional interest in Flightline sells for $4.6 million

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland says a 2.5% fractional interest in Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Flightline has sold for $4.6 million during a special auction before the start of its November Breeding Stock Sale.

Brookdale Farm’s Freddy Seitz signed the ticket for an undisclosed client, the track announced in a release. The sale comes a day after ownership of the 4-year-old son of Tapit retired the unbeaten colt following his record 8\-length victory in Saturday’s $6 million, Grade 1 Classic at Keeneland. Flightline likely locked up Horse of the Year honors with his fourth Grade 1 victory in six starts by a combined victory margin of 71 lengths – dominance that has drawn comparisons to legendary Triple Crown champion Secretariat.

Flightline will begin his breeding career next year at Lane’s End Farms in Versailles, Kentucky, but a stud fee has yet to be determined. West Point Thoroughbreds, part of the bay colt’s ownership, offered the fractional interest. Seitz said the buyer wanted to “make a big splash” and get more involved in the business.

“With a special horse like (Flightline) all you can do is get involved and then just hope for the best,” Seitz said in the release.

“There has never been a horse that has done what he has done for however many years, back to Secretariat. You just have to pay up and get involved, and this is kind of what he’s thinking.”