The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has announced that LL COOL J, Frank Sinatra Jr., musicians from the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, former New York Yankees great Bernie Williams and a performance from the Tony award-winning Broadway musical WICKED will headline a New York-themed group of entertainers scheduled to perform on Belmont Stakes Day, June 7, at Belmont Park.
LL COOL J, a New York native, will perform two songs in between the Grade 1 Manhattan and the 146th running of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, the oldest and longest leg of racing’s Triple Crown. LL COOL J is an entertainment icon who has found great success crossing into multiple mediums. A two-time Grammy® Award winner, recording artist, talented actor, author, NAACP Image Award winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist, LL continues to display his wide range of talents with every project. He currently stars in the CBS hit primetime drama series, “NCIS: LOS ANGELES,” and continuing his musical expedition three decades after he first released music, LL recently released AUTHENTIC, his 13th Top-10 Album on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart.
As the horses go to the post for the Belmont, Frank Sinatra, Jr. will deliver a live rendition of “New York, New York”, the song popularized by his legendary father and sung nearly every year at Belmont Park since 1997. Frank Jr. pays homage to his father in both song and style as he tours the world with his show, “Sinatra Sings Sinatra.” Although he originally planned a career as a pianist and conductor while studying music at the University of Southern California, Frank Jr. made his singing debut in 1963 and has gone on to fashion a musical career that continues to define the Sinatra legend.
The acclaimed West Point musicians will perform the National Anthem to start the day’s entertainment, and will continue to regale guests with patriotic numbers throughout the day. Also during the afternoon, guests will be treated to a trackside performance from WICKED, which premiered at the Gershwin Theatre in Manhattan in 2003.
Meanwhile, one of the most beloved New York athletes of the last 25 years, former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams, will entertain guests in the first-floor Champagne Room with acoustic and electric guitar music – a lifelong passion that led him to be nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009. The Champagne Room, located on the first floor of the clubhouse, is the premier destination for guests on Belmont Stakes Day, featuring a gourmet buffet, open bar with top shelf brands and a private trackside patio.
“Belmont Stakes Day will provide an unparalleled guest experience, an event where everything will be bigger and better – just like New York itself,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “From the outstanding array of rich stakes races to the assortment of popular entertainers with strong ties to New York, the day celebrates everything that is great about our city and state. We want everyone to come out and kick off the New York summer party season with a great afternoon of racing, complemented by a great day of entertainment and enhanced food and beverage options.”
Remaining seating and hospitality can be purchased by visiting ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-NYRA-TIX. Walk-up admission is always available either through advance purchase at the box office or at admission gates on Belmont Stakes Day itself.
About The New York Racing Association, Inc.
NYRA’s mission is “Meeting the highest standards in thoroughbred racing and equine safety.” Founded in 1955, and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at New York’s three major tracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course) through 2033, NYRA boasts a lineage that actually stretches back almost 150 years. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state’s thoroughbred business which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State’s urban, suburban and rural economy. In 2013, nearly 1.7 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. Factoring in nationwide off-track wagering, the average daily betting handle on NYRA races totals more than $9 million. NYRA has a vast network of websites, including www.nyra.com, www.belmontstakes.com, and www.nyragroupsales.com. You can also follow NYRA on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.