Friday, June 03, 2011


ELMONT, N.Y. – As the field for the 143rd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes makes its way onto the track for the post parade at Belmont Park, they will be accompanied by Frank Sinatra’s timeless recording of “New York, New York.”

As part of their live coverage of the June 11 Belmont Stakes, NBC will broadcast the song as the horses step on to the track and make their way to the starting gate. Post time for the prestigious third leg of the Triple Crown, which will likely feature a rematch between Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford, is 6:35 p.m. EDT.

Since 1997, with a one-year hiatus in 2010, Sinatra’s “New York, New York” has been performed as a precursor to the running of the Belmont Stakes. Composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb, it is the theme song from the 1977 Martin Scorsese film “New York, New York.”

The song did not become a popular hit until it was sung in concert by Sinatra in October, 1978. Sinatra then recorded it for his album “Trilogy: Past Present Future,” and it has been associated with him ever since. In 2010, “Empire State of Mind” was performed at the Belmont Stakes and prior to 1997, “Sidewalks of New York” was performed.

Fans can listen to the song and see the lyrics by visiting at the following link:

In addition to “New York, New York,” Belmont Stakes Day will also feature NYRA Controller Jelena Alonso singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Sam Grossman, aka Sam the Bugler, performing “God Bless America.”

Alonso will perform the National Anthem before the first race, scheduled for an 11:35 a.m. post. She has performed in theaters across the United States and Europe in musicals including West Side Story, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, and Phantom of the Opera. Alonso has also been singing the national anthem for the New York Islanders on Long Island since 1993.

Sam the Bugler will perform “God Bless America” at approximately 2 p.m. He has been NYRA’s bugler for 19 years, performing the “Call to the Post” before every race. He has also been the official bugler at the Preakness for the past four years.

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