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Cuomo's top racing adviser wrote to NYRA about food truck

By Lombardo David
Thursday, September 19, 2013

The ouster of the Wandering Dago from the Saratoga Race Course just hours after opening day this summer could be connected to the governor's office, according to an email revealed in federal court today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top racing adviser, Ben Liebman, sent an email to New York Racing Association CEO Chris Kay on July 19, in which he says the name "Wandering Dago" will probably be found insensitive. A copy of the email is available below.

Later that night, the owners of the Wandering Dago were told they weren't welcome at the track this summer.

As a result of this decision and the state's decision to keep the food truck out of the Empire State Plaza, the Wandering Dago owners, Andrea Loguidice and Brandon Snooks, filed a suit against NRA and the state.

In Liebman's letter to Kay, he acknowledges that the name is designed to be self-depricating.

"I just believe that people will find the name of the truck both offensive and insensitive, and that the fallout for authorizing this truck will inevitably land on NYRA," he wrote.

At no point does Liebman request the food truck be removed from the track and suggests NYRA should look at possibly modifying the food truck's name. "I see this as a problem waiting to blow up," he added.

The governor's office declined to comment on the email, noting that it was the subject of pending litigation.

Today was the first day of oral arguments in the suit. During the appearance, judge Mae D'Agostino noted that she found the food truck's name to be offensive.

Reporting by Steve Williams

A full version of this story will appear in the Friday issue of the Daily Gazette.

Follow @poozer87 on Twitter.

Ben Liebman Letter to Chris Kay

 
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