Live Updates: Photos from Belmont Stakes

Live Updates: Photos from Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes returns to several of its normal traditions this year amid the coronavirus pandemic; its usual mile-and-a-half distance has been restored, as has its traditional calendar status as the last leg of the Triple Crown. Fans are also back – though fewer than usual due to pandemic restrictions – with approx. 11,000 are expected to be present.

At Belmont Park, it means a return of big hats, cigars, patrons queuing by windows and of course the stands with cheering fans as horses cross the finish line.

The pandemic’s limitations for fans show how sporting events have adapted to their rules as vaccinations in the United States have increased. Guests are not required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative virus test, and masks are mandatory for those who have not been vaccinated.

There is no Triple Crown at stake on Saturday, but there is still plenty of excitement surrounding the race. The morning line’s favorite is Essential Quality ahead of Rombauer, who won Preakness. Essential Quality last race was the Kentucky Derby, where it finished fourth.

Our photographers, Victor J. Blue and Hiroko Masuike, will be on the ground capturing the energy of the day, bringing live updates from the 153rd run of the Belmont Stakes.