Here are my thoughts for the week, which don't have a lot to do with Halloween:
Well I'm getting some people responding to my suggestion last week that NYRA bid for the Breeders Cup at Saratoga Race Course. If you haven't "liked" my facebook page yet on bringing the Breeders Cup here yet, I would appreciate it if you did. The Times Union gave my commentary real good placement in their sports section, but that is just a start. I intend next to write a letter to NYRA Chairman Charlie Hayward and contact a few horse racing blogs. It would be nice to get 1,000 people to like that page, and that can be done, but I'll have to give it some effort and obtain some help. Are you reading this Saratoga.com?
The You Idiot blog had a pretty funny posting about halloween costumes and the downtown scene - and I believe it was F-bomb free.
I wrote about the lowering of the price of The Batcheller Mansion Inn last week. That concerns me because it's just obvious that Bruce Levinsky is serious about selling, and my question is to who? Levinsky and his Merlin Development, notably Manager Dan DelGaudio, really had a stewardship and love for the beautiful old building. Maybe the city should bond for the money and buy it.
On a related note, did you see that the Kimberly Inn, which was once a B&B, sold for a measly $350,000? It's at the corner of Lincoln and South Broadway. That place may need some work, but that price is a steal.
The Sunoco on South Broadway offers free coffee on the first of every month. I never seem to remember this, and even if I do I assume the lines will be long and for about 50 cents I can make one on my Tassimo at home. Nonetheless, if I remember when driving by tomorrow....
In the Friday October 28 edition of the Times Union, they will print an edited version of the commentary that I wrote below in which I argue that NYRA should put in a bid to host the Breeders Cup at Saratoga Race Course. It will be in their print editions and I assume the on-line version as well. In any event you can help by linking to the Bring the Breeders Cup to Saratoga Race Course Facebook Page and pressing the "LIKE" button. I will post my commentary below, which should be essentially the same as the one printed in the Times Union: ADDED: You can link the Times Union version here.
Today the long-awaited casino at Aqueduct Racetrack opens, and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) will start receiving a portion of proceeds from the recently installed nearly 2,500 video lottery terminals (VLTs) and Electronic Table Games (ETGs), which will be doubled to 5,000 machines in the coming months. This is a fantastic day in New York thoroughbred racing, because now NYRA will finally have money to increase purses sufficiently and fix aging facilities at its three storied race tracks, including our own beloved Saratoga Race Course.
I read a recent commentary from a horse racing columnist who predicted “The Breeders' Cup will surely return to New York as fast as you can say slot machine.” Yes, indeed, but does “Breeders Cup” and “New York” have to equal “Belmont”? I say no! Not next time anyway.
Am I really going there? Am I really suggesting “The August place to be” become, for one year anyway, “The November place to be”? You bet I am! Why not? Why can’t the most beautiful race track on the planet host the biggest two days of racing on the planet? Yes, it’s time for NYRA to break tradition and put in a bid to host the Breeders Cup at - not Belmont, not this time anyway, but instead at the one, the only - Saratoga Race Course!
A naysayer might allege that Saratoga Springs in November is not suited for a marquee horse racing event? Really? The Breeders Cup has been held at Belmont Park four times, and even at Aqueduct (!) once. The average daily November temperature difference between Elmont, New York (home to Belmont) and Saratoga Springs is just seven degrees. Elmont, by the way, averages more rain in November than Saratoga Springs. Note that we are talking early November, not the post-Thanksgiving “winter is here” November. Should NYRA ignore the most beautiful race course on the planet for an inconsequential seven degree differential? I think not!
Yes, November in Saratoga is a far cry from August, but can’t NYRA try something different, just once? Sure it would break tradition, but what a great way to break it, and the Breeders Cup would of course be in addition to the regular Saratoga summer meet, not in place of it.
As a native of Buffalo who has sat through a number of December and January Buffalo Bills football games in the uncovered Ralph Wilson stadium, I would have no problem putting on an extra layer or two to see a world-class and historical event right here in the Capital District. I suspect others feel the same way, and I bet the Spa backyard would be filled with fans just like it is in August - they‘d only be dressed differently. Come on NYRA, dare to dream big and make some history! Put in a bid to host the Breeders Cup at the grand and majestic Saratoga Race Course - the most beautiful thoroughbred track in the world!
Maestro's front porch is still a hit even as the weather turns cold and it has an even bigger following than before. What's better than great food on that awesome porch? Great food on that awesome porch with $5 entrees! Click here to find out the details for Maestro's $5 Halloween special.
It is with bittersweet emotion that we tell you today, Sunday10/23/11, is the last day The Lab will be open in our current location. Although we will miss our huge open space and our Long Alley neighbors…after 2 years of explaining where “Long Alley” is we are moving. We wish to thank each and every one of you for being our customers and our friends, we can’t wait to welcome you to our new location. Please stay tuned to this FB page or our website for our new location coming soon. We will look forward to seeing you very soon at The new Lab Saratoga! Elizabeth and Mike
I wish Mike and Liz well and will be a regular customer wherever they choose to reopen.