Different tune to kick off Belmont Stakes

Jockey Kent Desormeaux rides Summer Bird to win the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes horse race at Belmont Park, Saturday, June 6, 2009, in Elmont, N.Y. (Julie Jacobson)

June 4, 2010 5:24:35 AM PDT
Start spreading the news: Sinatra's out at the Belmont Stakes. The New York Racing Association says Frank Sinatra's classic version of "New York, New York" is being replaced by "Empire State of Mind" as the music heard when the horses step onto the track for the $1 million Belmont on Saturday.

The change is being made because Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" has become a "quintessential 21st century theme song for New York City," says NYRA marketing director Neema Ghazi.

"New York, New York" replaced "Sidewalks of New York" in 1997.

Alicia Keys' version of "Empire State of Mind" is to be performed by teenage recording artist Jasmine Villegas.

The lyrics include, "I'm the new Sinatra, and since I made it here I can make it anywhere."