The Belmont Stakes averaged 20.6 million viewers on NBC, which the network said is the second-highest figure on record for the race, behind only 21.9 million for Smarty Jones' failed Triple Crown attempt in 2004. (The available data dates to 1988.)

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The race coverage drew an audience 57 percent higher than the 13.1 million who watched on ABC as Big Brown made the most recent previous Triple Crown bid, in 2008.

In New York, an average of 15.8 percent of homes watched, the second-best such rating in the market after a 20.5 in 2004. Louisville led all markets with a rating of 21.1.