12/19/2007 1:00AM

Saratoga called 'endangered'

EmailA private advocacy group has added Saratoga Race Course to its list of "endangered properties" in the hope that the track's operators will preserve the facility's historic character, the group announced Tuesday.

Jay DiLorenzo, president of the Preservation League of New York State, said by phone Wednesday that the group harbors concern about ongoing negotiations among state officials over the New York Racing Association's franchise to operate Saratoga and the state's two other largest tracks.

Lorenzo said the group would ask that its concerns be included in any agreement to operate Saratoga in the future. Among the requests would be a plan that would protect the track's architecture from dramatic change.

"We just don't want to see the operator make major additions or do something dramatic that would impact the historical character of the track," DiLorenzo said.

Local groups in Saratoga have been vocal in their opposition to any major changes to the racetrack or its summer meet, a major contributor to the upstate New York economy.