Excitement surrounds the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes as California Chrome will shoot for horse racing's first Triple Crown since 1978.
There will be plenty of action at Belmont Park before the big race on Saturday, starting with the post position draw on Wednesday. Beginning with the $150,000 Easy Goer at 11:35 a.m. ET on Saturday, nine races with purses totaling $6.5 million -- including the $1.25 million Metropolitan Mile -- preface the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, which is set for 6:35 p.m. ET on NBC. NBC Sports will carry live coverage from Belmont Park beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. The network will also air a series of shows, including a special on California Chrome, during the week leading up to the final leg of the Triple Crown.
All eyes, of course, will be on California Chrome during that time. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was impressive during his workout on Saturday, according to Melissa Hoppert of the New York Times, and will go easy with a day of jogging on Monday before galloping each day leading up to Saturday, when he'll jog again shortly before his attempt at history.
With the Triple Crown at stake, there will be plenty of extra attention on his regiment during the week. Even a small ailment can lead to a lot of speculation as it did in the week of the Preakness Stakes. California Chrome developed a throat tickle which led to some speculation he'd be scratched, but that was quickly shot down by his trainers. California Chrome becomes the third horse since 2008 to enter the Belmont with a chance to win the Triple Crown. Big Brown in 2008 and I'll Have Another in 2012 both came up short in their bids.