The Belmont Stakes on Saturday on NBC averaged 16.6 percent of New York-area homes, the second-highest-rated Belmont in the market (in records dating to 1988), behind only Smarty Jones' failed Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (20.5).

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Nationally, the race, in which American Pharoah completed the first Triple Crown since 1978, averaged 12.3 percent in major markets, the third-best figure on record. (Last year's race, featuring California Chrome's Triple Crown attempt, had a 12.9 rating in major markets.)

Louisville led all markets with 24.2 percent for the race portion of the telecast, followed by Baltimore, Tampa, Fort Myers, then New York in fifth place.