Monday, April 28, 2008


So what do you do when the hallmark of your community is listed among the state’s most endangered historical places? If you happen to be promoters for the New York Racing Association, you get a horde of rednecks hopped up on Southern Comfort and southern rock and turn them loose inside of the place.

NYRA officials announced plans last week to host a good old fashioned hoe down at the East Avenue parking lot at the Saratoga Racecourse after the track closes this summer. The free-to-the-public event is expected to draw thousands, who will undoubtedly remain in good spirits given the event sponsor: Southern Comfort.

“San Diego had to close the gates because we were at capacity,” event spokesman Sean Wachsman said of a similar concert hosted in California.

Now, if a gigantic billboard-sized warning light isn’t going off somewhere, it should be. Country and southern rock festivals are renowned for their ability to draw drunken yahoos. And offering hard liquor as a sponsor is just about the only excuse all of these folks will need to raise Cain at the track.

It’s not to say these types of events aren’t welcome in the city. In fact, Saratoga Springs could use a little rollicking, now that the City Council has neutered the Caroline Street Block Party. But at the racecourse, the very collection of historic structures listed among the most endangered by the Preservation League of New York State? Well, let’s just say the idea is a bit skewed.

For the recently rehired NYRA, the shin-dig is part of plans to turn the track into an “entertainment destination capable of generating additional revenue,” Gavin Landry, NYRA’s senior vice president of sales and market development told the Times Union last week.

“The concert is a reflection that NYRA perceives all of its racetracks as venues, destinations used to host major events,” he said. “We’re having discussions with all three tracks that will allow us to offer things to people who may or may not come for the races.”

Like thousands of drunk hicks. Only time will tell how the event will pan out. There’s a chance the 7,000 to 15,000 expected for the event will be well-behaved and leave the track much as they found it. Yet scheduling an event like this is akin to dumping a bunch of gasoline all over the place and then handing a lit blow torch to a pyromaniac. Sure there’s a chance the gas might not ignite, but it’s not a very good one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horatio, you pussy, Saratoga is a party town.
God forbid if the image of the Historic Racetrack ever becomes tarnished.
I only suggest next Travesty Day you walk through the picnic table area after the 7th race and give us a body count.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...


You Elitist Yankee Carpetbaggin' Chablis-swillin' Society-Climbin' son-of-a-WilliamSafire. You may denigrate us for our love of the humble Dog... but NOW you have kicked our favorite Gift Mule in the Mouth.

You've got about as much vision as a One-Eyed Man in the Kingdom where the fuel crisis has darkened the evening to nights as black as Bayou Creosote.

Wake up and smell the Home Brew--
Instead of of whining like a stuck pig in a poke in a penthouse, why not join our "People Initiating Things" Crew... known by our bumper stickers readin' "PIT Crew." We are lobbying hard to get the top NASCAR teams up here to run a few laps around that dog-tired loop y'all call a "track."

Heck, JimmyRay and me we got figured that a few loads a dirt oughta' get a nice 30-degree bank into them turns.

You just remember there Mr. I-vee League guy--
A Fast Track is a Terrible Thing to Waste. And that infield you gots gonna' make a GREAT RV park, complete with a swimmin' hole.

Them boys at NYRA, they got what you call VISION. And you're just a one-eyed man in the Kingdom... dang! Dun been there already...

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“a horde of rednecks hopped up on Southern Comfort and southern rock”

You may call them Red necks, Val Keehn calls them her base.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

Look out NYRA... I hear the Raceway is responding with a party of their own:

The St. Ides Chariots of Hell Barfing Festival

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Dylan's Villian's said...

Geez! I would love a rock concert there. It beats SPAC. I remember when the fair took place there and they had shows then. Those were the days. The good ole days.

Take me disappearing thru the smoke rings of my mind,down the foggy ruins of time.
Far past the frozen leaves
The haunted,frightened trees
Out to the windy Beach,far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
To dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea,
circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let's forget about today until tomorrow.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man play a song for me, In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's too early to talk about the track. Whenever talk of track happens it reminds us of summer being over. Mardi Gras was boring sunday. Hope Cinco De Mayo is better this weekend. City is starting to pick up which is a good thing.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous American Legion Legend said...

Drunken hicks! Just what we need. I see enough of that at the Legion. Pisses me off to see all these guys who never been to war act like they are patriots.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: American Legion,

I know what you mean. You really aren't a true patriot until you've killed a few gooks or a couple of rag heads. God bless the USA!

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Democrat killer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You kin hav funnn I'm tellin' ya you can, When you stomp yer foot to a hillbilly band! i can't wait!
yee ha!

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...


I suspect you've struck fertile turf here... i.e. I'll appreciate the handicapper who can tell me why NYRA, with only a temporary EXTENSION... how is they are now painting broadstroke visions for the distant future?

Lord knows you hit the Mother Lode with the Great Hot Dog uprising. Me thinks you'll top 100 comments... might be some kind of record.

And speaking of "records," your Sacandaga Post is now firmly soaked in Hudson History Hell-- Today (Monday) at noon, the dam stopped overflowing... punctuating a record of 15 days of flooding over the spillway. You can see the work of the Dam idiots here-

Praise the Lord and Pass the Antiques and Hot Dogs...

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a live fight between Val Keehn and Tom McTygue. The under card you get a perfect match of John "Wretched" Tighe vs. David "Headbutt" Bronner. Keehn would have to be favorite with McTygue being all mouth and all.
The other bout would have a life time military man against a well known tinker bell in tighe. Interesting!

6:41 PM  
Blogger firefly said...

Southern Rock? So-Co? Outdoors? Hicks? All in my back yard? Count me in.....sounds like a great time! Horatio- you know youll be there to people watch! Ill buy you your very own Souvey Tshirt. You can wear it while you blog the event the next morning. True Story!

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Antique Dealer said...

I can assure you this guys antiques are on the same level as hot dogs. A fly by night to say the least. Much the same as a guy who sells hot dogs from a cart. Never much ambition his whole life. Woke up one day and was 45 years old and accomplished nothing. He mistakenly came in contact with some rare Palestinian Artifact that now has Third world interest,thus the Iraqi flavor in pursuit. I am affraid our local Yoco could be in some trouble with the authorities. Seems smuggling is steal a crime in this country when you get caught.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Mctygue groupies will be there. His band is already slated. "Tommy and the Tulips" will be performing Travers Day. His brother Billy was going to play but was canceled. Tagged "Billy Sings The Blahs" according to sources would create to much confusion. One official was quoted "With Billy there it would make a situation of having more horse's asses than horses at the track."

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1) are there any city approvals neeeded for such an event?

2) have city officials been informed +/or consulted? If so: who?

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Val 09 HQ said...

I don;t know what this fuss is all about. We need to welcome these good people to our city.

Let it be known that I gladly accept the endorsements from the following non-wretched:

* Molly Hatchett

* Lynyrd Skynyrd

* Black Oak Arkansas

* 38 Special

* Charlie Daniels

* Marshall Tucker

* Willie Nelson

* NYRA marketing officials

* Vanguard (i have to always mention him or he gets angry)

* Shaky film makers who never actually made a film

* Retired army corporals that spit when they talk

* Mindy McCready (as of yesterday)

* Bored Housewives in Saratoga

* Political Job Sponges named Eileen and Lew

* Commissioners with girls' last names

* NASCAR drivers

* NASACR crew chiefs

* NASCAR fans

* Vanguard (again)

* Corrupt DEC officials

* Southern Comfort drinkers

There will be a campaign meeting at the concert. Every one of my supporters with an IQ over 25 gets to sit in the Travers canoe. Together, at the same time.

Now that's an order.

Corporal: you're in charge.

---- Val K.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


VERY GOOD POINT. And I believe I have a succinct answer to both your questions:


Funny thing is, the racecourse is now state-owned. It's no longer on the tax maps, according to the deal with NYRA. Before, it was on the maps because it was in a quasi-public status. So if the taxing entity essentially has no power to levy their tithe, then I can't see where local ordinance would apply. Than means NYRA can do just about anything they want up there without city approval; perhaps even pave over the damn thing and race NASCAR as one jesting post here previously suggested.

Mind you, this is my speculation at this time and I really don't have the chance this morning to delve too far into it. But government-owned property is usually exempt from all local ordinances.

And the angle of your question in light of this SoCo blast brings up a VERY interesting quandry that I personally didn't consider when the NYRA deal was signed. Sure, everyone thought about the tax revenue that would be lost. But nobody once thought NYRA might have carte-blanche to do what it pleases at the now state-owned facility.

Not to digress or anything, but these ARE the types of comments I like. Honest, thought-provoking questions that send myself (and others) digging for information, rather than the "political graffiti" one poster previously referred to.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is true. They can do anything they want. They can build anything they want as well. If they so desire they can put a ten story apartment complex there. No zoning or planning board approvals needed.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Shatzin said...

Since when is Gnarls Barkley considered southern rock? They're the headliners of this festival out west. Admittedly, they haven't announced the line up for Saratoga yet, but I don't see how spaced out hip-hop has any roots in southern rock, unless we're talking about Kid Rock and he's crap.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over the years NYRA has tried fairs, circus events, RV shows to expand the facilities usage, and of course the associated revenue intake for the NYRA. Any of these events only lasted a couple of years then disappeared.

Maybe a drunk fest will add a little revenue to the city if PS does their job.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what is the cost to Saratoga of this sort of event? I not-so-fondly recall the arrests, bar fights, broken bottles, and general mess created by the old Caroline Street Block Party/Drunk Fest. It may bring in one sort of tourist, but likely chases away another sort that may be more likely to spend dollars in town instead of in the police station and court.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... 6:56 AM

"If they so desire they can put a ten story apartment complex there. No zoning or planning board approvals needed."

I hope Sonny doesn't find out about this. Can you imagine what the backstretch would look like after he got done with it?

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is this idiot who keeps ranting about Iraqis and Palestinians? Next I’ll be screaming about weapons of mass destruction. Were in gods name do they find these people.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the Caroline Street block party. Those were the good ol' days.

Horatio, ever spent the day getting sloppy drunk only to have the coppers come slap you around, throw you in the klink for the night then say "hello" to a young Scott johnson as he came through with the broom in the morning? And while all that was going on McTygue was in at 4AM cleaning up your vomit in the alley behind Gaffney's.

We need a couple strip (gentlemen's) clubs, full fledge casinos and a nice skid row around here. For a town built on vice and drunken debauchery we sure like not to admit that which we are.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7:53 PM
Who wrote “Who is this idiot who keeps ranting about Iraqis and Palestinians?”

Just another Keehniac who forgot their Prozac.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I plan on putting on my Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt, drinking a bunch of Southern Comfort at the concert, and then taking that infield canoe for a paddle.

Maybe I can talk some trailer trash girls into skinny dipping in the pond.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hip hop?

I'll take the drunken southern rockers over the gun-toting, trash talking, jive speaking, break dancing hip hop boyzzzz.

Old timers will recall a few things:

-For a couple of years in the 70's, the track was the site of somthing called the All American Fair. July 4th weekend. A large stage was setup in front of the grandstand. They had some cornball headline acts, the kid of stuff you tend to see at these summer fairs. I remeber that guy that made up funny songs back then that got big airplay; I forget his name. Also, Bob Hope was there, I think? Anyone recall?

- The track tried (on a couple of occasions) putting music in the back area, where they started after the last race. I recall one of the bands being Dave Mason. The shows didn't go over that well.


Hell, a Molly Hatchett / redneck rock show couldnt have any more staggering drunks stumbling around than SIRO's does on any given August nite at 10PM, could it?

Who's kidding who here???

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about Iraqi's. Who cares about the jerk that is complaining about the person talking about Iraqi's. Be a man and stop pissing on Keehn. Nobody cares about Keehn. Don't put it past Bonacio with Roohan and McTygue's help to try to build on track property. Looking out for number one is what they are all about.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous mamie said...

I still go to the block party on Caroline Street. The only thing is they have changed the name and moved everything inside the establishments. The guy that pushed for this was John Baker, owner of Gaffney's. He is one smart cookie. This thing at the track will be good for all.

5:14 PM  
Blogger firefly said...

Horatio, I must admit, as I read back through the most recent posts....I got quite the giggle to see the words "NYRA and Tithe" in the same paragraph. Could you imagine....

You stand correct, because the race course and its vast acreage is NO longer on the tax maps, they can do pretty much whatever the heck they want whenever they want to do it....quite the Monopoly Monster eh? I wonder how many people are now sitting back, scratching their heads and thinking.....I know I am....

Saratoga will financially benefit from the event....parking tickets, arrests, accomodations, the after party over pour into the streets and bars and of course the late night eateries for those looking to fill their munchie fix with a slice, a doughboy or a Pint of the General......... lets be optimistic!

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Anonymous 4:36 PM
Typical progressive bitches about people picking on Keehn and then in the next breath trashes McTygue's. Fucking Hypocrites

As long as Keehn keeps her name out in political circles as a potential candidate she is far game.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Play Free Bird! Now! said...

u r right, dude(ette).

You want drunks, Siro's is loaded with them in auguest. Puking, pissing, yelling, fighting. staggering.

The Siro's crowd would put the skynyrd / gnarls / ozzie crowd to shame if it came down to counting drunks.

A september show at the track? Bring it on. Why not?

caroline treet blues/block parry? F-that. It's been sanitized into the typial saratoga yuppi fest.

The city is nothing more than a bunch of Valerie Keehn types of Peyton Place types. Boring as hell and without a clue.

So, unless this big show at the track is Peter Paul & Mary or the Turtles or an A Capella fest or some other lame ass shit that these assholes can groove to; they're gonna raise holy (Vanguard) hell about it.

I just dont understand why you are too?

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to the blogs....has Tommy told anybody to stop crying and get back to work?

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to the blogs....has this Tige fag from the middle east been located yet? Has anyone seen him working anywhere? Does he work? Why is he obsessed with male purse carriers?

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Tommy Tulip said...

Quit crying and get back to work.
Gee, that is sweet! Let me try another. The next time I will make you swallow. I gave you your own office at the garage and I expect payback.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy Olsen, news hound said...

NYRA just announced the details on their big concert at the race track. Here is the press release:

The New York Racing Association, in association with NXIVM, presents the world's largest outdoor A Capella Festival; Sept 12 at the Saratoga Race Course.

Co-hosts are Keith Raniere and Valerie Keehn.

Special appearances by hot movie actresses.

The festival will be filmed by Roger Wyatt Productions.

Security will be provided by Bronner Associates.

Job handouts wil be managed by Lew Benton.

Legal services by Ron Kim Law Firm.

VIP hosting by Eileen Finnerman.

The KoolAid concession will be run by Gerard Hawthorn and six public housing residents that he threatened to evict if they didn't help him.

Underwritten by Sara Bronfman.

Advance tickets available at 5 Wells Street, Tuesday nites (you must sit thru a 'personal growth' seminar first).

Free admission if you volunteer for the Val in '09 Campaign.

This will be HUGE, folks! HUGE!

So HUGE, that Billy Fuccillo is going to do the TV commercials.

What a great day for our city.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Antique Thief said...

Jimmy Olsen news hound!

What a bore! Time for you to find new material. John Tighe has already been down that route. I am sure Tighe will be there thoug. He will be the guy selling antiques that he smuggled in from Jerusalem!

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ho,

I thought you got rid of that Tighe bullshit from this blog! He is the Jimmy Olsen guy attacking innocent citizens again. Maybe you will remove.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I am trying to get rid of the BS posts(whether they be about Tighe, Hawthorn, McTygue, etc.), especially if they've got nothing to do with the topic. Every now and again, I let a few of them by in drunken fits.

What I am contemplating is creating a graffiti board of sorts(moderated to exempt spam), and then linking it to iSaratoga. That way, the childish posts off-topic can go there and I'll have a reason to moderate them wholly from the site I put my time into.

7:13 PM  

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