What time does the 2021 Belmont Stakes start? What TV channel is it on?

Overtook trains Thursday ahead of the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y., on Saturday.
Overtook trains Thursday ahead of the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday in Elmont, N.Y.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

If a major horse race is held in a city that never sleeps, does it really matter what time the race is? Of course it does. And that is today’s question: What time is the Belmont Stakes?

As always, it depends on where you live. If you are here on the border of Queens and Nassau counties in the shadow of New York City, it’s at 6:47 p.m. EDT. And as you move west, subtracting an hour at each stop, it’s at 5:47 p.m. in Chicago and 4:47 p.m. in Denver and, of course, 3:47 p.m. in Los Angeles.

The thing about the Triple Crown races is the time is heavily controlled by NBC. The network needs to be done with its horse racing broadcast by 7:15 p.m. EDT in order to go 10 miles down the road to Uniondale, where the New York Islanders will play the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of their NHL playoff series.


Rock Your World and Essential Quality face off in the Belmont Stakes, a race featuring no undefeated horses.

June 4, 2021

The highlight of the Belmont Stakes pre-race festivities is always the singing of a chopped-up version of “New York, New York,” the song first sung by, no, not him, but Liza Minnelli. As it turned out, as far as the song is concerned, she is Pete Best, you know, the Beatles’ drummer before Ringo Starr. Minelli did “New York, New York” before Frank Sinatra, but guess whom everyone associates with the song and who made it his own? Sinatra was asked to sing it so often that he grew to hate the song, much like he did “My Way” when that was his signature song.

This year, the crowd at Belmont Park is supposed to be capped at 10,000, not counting owners, officials and, of course, the media.