08/28/2013 1:40PM

NYRA sued by food truck owners over Saratoga ejection

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The owners of a food truck who were ejected from the grounds of Saratoga Race Course because of a racially tinged term in the food truck’s name have filed a federal lawsuit against the New York Racing Association alleging a violation of First Amendment rights.

Andrea Loguidice and Brandon Snooks, the owner of a food truck called the Wandering Dago, contend that their business was ordered off of Saratoga’s property on July 19, opening day of the summer meet, because of pressure from state officials. The lawsuit names two NYRA officials, chief executive Chris Kay and vice president Stephen Travers, as well as five unnamed state officials.

“The NYRA defendants knowingly and willfully engaged in content-based and viewpoint-based restrictions of speech and, thus, knowingly and willfully denied, deprived, and/or violated plaintiff’s civil rights and liberties and constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities,” states the suit.

The suit states that NYRA officials informed Loguidice and Snooks that NYRA had received “numerous complaints” about the term “dago” in the name of the food truck. The suit further states that the couple does not believe that any complaints were actually sent to NYRA, but that state officials who barred the truck from operating at a government property earlier this year had ordered the truck removed from Saratoga.

Eric Wing, a spokesperson for NYRA, said the association would have no comment on the suit.

Saratoga is operated by the New York Racing Association, a not-for-profit quasi-state agency. The deeds to the three tracks it operates are held by the state, and its board is comprised of a majority of individuals appointed by state officials.

mikey More than 1 year ago
Give the guy a hearing first.That will take 6 months, by that time he can change the name to the wap mobile.NYRA has a lot more things to fix first.Everyone laughs at NYRA why not let these guys make a living.Guess some NYRA exec got charged for what he bought.
stev lauria More than 1 year ago
It's sad that people who want to work are not given the chance to make a living,it's all politics every year at the track.NYRA lets people from out of state come in for years to rake in all the money for the meet, then leave,and not put a dime back into upstate NY. None of the local people could ever get a food booth at the track for the summer. I hope the Wandering Dago wins the lawsuit against NYRA, by the way the meeting they had last night their pretty good at loosing money anyway!!
Bill Ware More than 1 year ago
What a farce! Jeez NYRA. Get a life. Try monitoring your "sauce purveying trainers" instead of some food vendor' s amusing logo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So if I brought a German food truck - "Hitler's Schnitzel's" to Saratoga, and NYRA told me they wanted me to leave, I can sue for restriction of speech? Sure... I'm with NYRA.
RIP Grammar More than 1 year ago
Political correctness run amok...
Sam Nishi More than 1 year ago
SOUNDS LIKE NYRA!! Let's run the industry into the ground (on purpose) and make a big deal about a Food Truck!! And, don't get me started on OTB > The private slush-fund for someone!!!
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
I am Italian and the name of the food truck does not bother me in the least....people need to get over this mamby pamby nonsense.......start living in the real world.