What time does the 2024 Belmont Stakes start? What TV channel is it on?

The final race of the Triple Crown — the Belmont Stakes — is upon us and you probably figure you’ve got the start time down solid. Guess again.

The third leg of horse racing’s signature series for 3-year-olds is actually the earliest of all the races and the Belmont Stakes is scheduled to start at 6:41 p.m. EDT. Let’s go time zone by time zone.

If you are in Los Angeles, set your clock for about 3:41 p.m.

In the Mountain time zone, like Denver, it’s at 4:41 p.m.

Folks in Chicago can see the race around 5:41 p.m.

And, finally, if you are in New York, it’s at 6:41 p.m.

You might guess that it’s earlier than the other Triple Crown races because, at 1½ miles, it’s the longest of the three races. But this year, it’s not the longest. In fact, it’s at the same length as the Kentucky Derby, 1¼ miles.

The reason for the distance change is because the race is at Saratoga rather than Belmont Park, which is under a major renovation. It will be at Saratoga next year, too.

Tracks have different circumferences and Belmont Park is bigger than Saratoga. In order to run the Belmont at 1½ miles, the race would have to start on a turn, which the New York Racing Assn. didn’t want to do. So, instead, this year and next the Triple Crown will have an asterisk.

The race coverage will start at 7:30 a.m. PT, that’s 10:30 a.m. on the East Coast, and coverage will be on FS1, the baby Fox. At 1 p.m./4 p.m. it will switch to the big boy network. It’s Channel 11 in Los Angeles, Channel 5 in New York, 31 in Denver and 32 in Chicago. Yeah, more confusing than the NBC affiliates.

The race will be called by Frank Miramahdi, who works the Santa Anita meeting as well as Saratoga.

Now the reason we think the race will not go much later than scheduled is Fox has only blocked out until the top of the hour for coverage. NBC, which carries the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, goes to half past the next hour. However, don’t worry, if something big happens, Fox has a Major League Baseball pre-game show scheduled at the top of the hour. So, it’s expendable programming if something really interesting happens in the Belmont Stakes.

There is no chance for a Triple Crown this year as different horses won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Both Mystik Dan (Derby) and Seize the Grey (Preakness) are coming back for the third time in five weeks to run in this race. The morning-line favorite is Sierra Leone, at 9-5, who lost the Derby to Mystik Dan by a nose. He did not run in the Preakness.

Looking for some long shots? Antiquarian, winner of the Peter Pan on May 11, should go off at a long price. As for a surprise, there is lightly raced Mindframe, who has raced only twice, winning both by a cumulative distance of 20½ lengths.

As for the singing of the butchered-up version of “New York, New York” it’s Idina Menzel, or as John Travolta once famously called her at the Oscars “Adele Dazeem.”

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