05/22/2003 11:00PM

Belmont Stakes post moved back


ELMONT, N.Y. - NBC's 90-minute telecast of the Belmont Stakes June 7 will begin a half-hour later than usual, at 5:30 p.m.

As a result, the New York Racing Association has moved the post time for the $1 million Belmont Stakes from 6:04 p.m. to 6:38 p.m. Eastern.

The Belmont, where Funny Cide will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, will be run as the 11th race on a 13-race card that has a scheduled last post of 7:52 p.m. First post remains unchanged at noon.

Originally, NYRA announced a 12-race card, with the Belmont as race 10.

Kevin Sullivan, the vice president of communications at NBC Sports, said that a heavy sports schedule on June 7, including the French Open women's final in tennis, golf, and arena football's conference championship, made it necessary for the network to move the Belmont telecast to a later slot.

"It was done in order to accommodate all the programming that day," Sullivan said late Friday afternoon.

Since NBC began telecasting the Triple Crown in 2001, the 90-minute show began at 5 p.m.

As a result of the later start, ESPN has added a half-hour of coverage on Belmont Stakes Day. ESPN's prerace coverage will begin at 3 p.m. and continues until 5:30 p.m. ESPN's postrace show will now start a half-hour later at 7 p.m.