John R. Velazquez

Five storylines for the 2019 Belmont Stakes

Five storylines for the 2019 Belmont Stakes

Triple Crown season lost steam unusually early this year when none of the top finishers in the Kentucky Derby went on to run in the Preakness.

But this is a familiar conundrum for the Belmont Stakes, where organizers are used to waiting anxiously for the next Triple Crown candidate. In the years when no such contender emerges, the race invariably loses appeal for the casual fan. It’s still an important event for the thoroughbred racing industry, especially given the packed undercard. There’s just no easy hook for the viewer who only perks up for super horses such as American Pharoah or Justify.

In the absence of such a star, here are five stories to watch heading into the...