Idina Menzel to Headline Belmont Day Entertainment 

May 31, 2024

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Belmont Stakes Racing Festival to also include Patriot Parachute team, West Point Color Guard and local entertainment

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that Tony Award-winning actress, singer/songwriter, producer and author Idina Menzel will headline the entertainment lineup for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which will be held at historic Saratoga Race Course from June 6 through June 9.

Tickets for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival are available for June 6, 7 and 9 and may be purchased at BelmontStakes.com

Menzel is best known for her starring roles in the original cast of Broadway shows “Rent” and “Wicked,” and as Elsa in Disney’s “Frozen” franchise. She will perform the celebrated theme song “New York, New York” just prior to the Post Parade for the 156th edition of the Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, on Saturday, June 8.

Menzel is the first Tony Award-winning actress to earn a top-10 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” franchise, which became one of the best-selling singles of 2014, won an Oscar and recently received Diamond status for achieving 10 million sales. Menzel was honored with the Breakthrough Artist award at the 2014 Billboard Women in Music awards ceremony.

Her robust acting and singing career has featured roles on and off Broadway, including appearances in the “Enchanted” film series, the musical-comedy television series “Glee” and in the Broadway musical “Wicked, which won her the 2004 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. This July, Menzel will embark on her 21-city “Take Me or Leave Me” concert tour. 

Belmont Stakes Day will also include a guest appearance by Sergeant Major MaryKay Messenger, lead vocalist for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who will sing “God Bless America” at 10:30 a.m. and the National Anthem later in the afternoon. Both performances will be accompanied by a presentation of colors by the West Point Color Guard. The day will also feature Tom Nitti, a popular Country singer and former contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” who will perform live from the Purdy’s Summer Music Stage beginning at 11 a.m.

One of the many highlights of Belmont Stakes Day will be a jump scheduled for approximately 1:30 p.m. by professional skydivers from the veteran-owned and-operated Patriot Parachute Team, who will touch down on the infield at Saratoga Race Course.

Additionally, fans can participate in a photo fashion contest from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jockey Silks Porch for a chance to win a $1,000 first prize, $500 second prize or $250 third prize gift certificate to Lifestyles of Saratoga, a women’s fashion boutique located in downtown Saratoga Springs. Fashion contest winners will also take home a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne, courtesy of Moët Hennessy. 

The live entertainment planned for Thursday, Friday and Sunday will showcase a program of highly acclaimed local talent from the Capital Region, underscoring the area’s dynamic arts scene. 

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will get underway on Thursday with an appearance by the Mendelssohn Club of Albany, which will perform the National Anthem at 12:25 p.m. They will return after the third and fifth races for a medley of Broadway selections that will include “Oklahoma,” “Hey Look Me Over,” “Good Night Sweetheart” and “Fugue for Tinhorns.” Formed in 1909, the all-male chorus is the longest continuously performing arts group in the Capital Region.

Opera Saratoga, founded in 1962 as Lake George Opera, will perform the National Anthem on Friday at 11:55 a.m., followed by two horse racing themed selections from the Broadway hit show “Guys and Dolls” which will take place after the third and fifth races. Opera Saratoga will be in residency at Universal Preservation Hall in downtown Saratoga Springs for its annual summer festival June 2 through July 7, which will be headlined by Guys and Dolls.

The Racing City Chorus, a local chapter of the Barber Shop Harmony Society, will sing the National Anthem on Sunday at 12:25 p.m. They will perform twice more in the afternoon, singing “Blue Skies” and “Wonderful Day Medley” after the third race and “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “Top of the World” after the fifth race. Founded in 1956, the Saratoga Springs-based chorus performs at various community events throughout the year. 

The Purdy’s Summer Music Stage will feature live music throughout the four-day festival, including the Garland Nelson Band on Thursday; IMI on Friday; Tom Nitti followed by ILL Funk on Belmont Stakes Day; and Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra on Sunday.

On both Thursday and Sunday of the Festival, admission gates open to the public at 11 a.m. prior to post time at 12:50 p.m. On Friday, admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. prior to 12:20 p.m. post time. 

Belmont Stakes Day will feature an early post time of 10:45 a.m. Admission gates open to the public at 9 a.m. 

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga Race Course will include 24 stakes races with purses totaling $10.25 million, the highest purse levels and number of stakes offered since the launch of the multi-day event in 2014.

For more information about the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga Race Course, visit BelmontStakes.com

@PastTheWire wow. I am thankful you took the time to provide such detail about an all time great horse and the tragedy of that final race.

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