New England’s only thoroughbred racetrack is scheduled to close in less than two weeks, the latest sign of a sport in a national decline. Experts on New York’s still-buoyant racing industry are weighing in on what the closure could mean for the Empire State.

The last day of racing at Boston-area racetrack Suffolk Downs is set for October 4th. The track was slated for closure this week, but officials postponed the shuttering. Upon its closure, it could mark the end of thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts and the rest of New England.


  Sunday marks the UN International Day of Peace and the fifth annual Saratoga Peace Fair will be staged from noon to 4PM Sunday at the Presbyterian - New England Congregational Church in Saratoga.

Part of the activities will be a special event featuring singer Tom Chapin. Chapin will create a video for peace with local vocalists and sing his song, “Sing for Peace.”

More than fifty exhibitors will also be on hand, promoting peace through environmental stewardship, fair trade, civil action and non-violent conflict resolution.

  The Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival is taking place next Friday through Sunday – June 20th-22nd at The Saratoga Fairgrounds.

125 artists and artisans will display and sell their original works, there will be live entertainment and music and ongoing craft demonstrations, there will be activities for kids – oh, and 20 hot air balloons will launch.

Christian Dutcher is the balloon component organizer or The Saratoga Ballon and Craft festival and he joins us now.

    Act one of award-winning opera composer Evan Mack's new work Roscoe will be part of Opera Saratoga's 2014 summer festival. The opera is based on the novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winning author, William Kennedy.

The 80 minute concert performance will give Saratoga audiences a first look at this brand new piece at The Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College on June 8th at 2pm.

Composer Evan Mack joins us along with Opera Saratoga's General Director, Curtis Tucker.

A lawyer says a New York drunken-driving charge against 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy has been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and returned to a town court for resolution.

Cassidy was pulled over in August in the town of Schodack and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was in upstate New York for a horse racing meet in Saratoga Springs.

The charge was a felony because Cassidy has a 2011 driving-under-the-influence conviction in his home state of Florida.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A veritable"who's who" of leaders of Capital Region arts non-profits gathered in a show of solidarity under the moniker "Upstate Theaters for a Fair Game." The group hopes to educate the public on what it sees as potential negative effects of casino expansion on what it refers to as "local entertainment ecosystems," noting that mid-sized arts and entertainment venues in neighboring states have been impacted by casino-based entertainment offerings.

Recent reports show that the 2013 racing season at the Saratoga Race Course was facing lower levels of attendance over last year in the several days after its July 19th opening.

The Albany Times Union reported that on an opening day with temperatures above 90 degrees, track attendance was down 15 percent from the previous year’s opening day. The slump continued with the next day down 13 percent. On the first giveaway day, attendance was 7 percent below last year’s.

City of Saratoga Spings & WikiPedia

Saratoga City and County leaders showed up in Albany Wednesday to make a case for building a casino in the Spa city.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — A Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based raceway and slots company has purchased a casino in Colorado for $28 million.

Saratoga Harness Racing, Inc., which owns the Saratoga Casino and Raceway in upstate New York, announced Tuesday that it completed the deal to buy Fitzgeralds Casino Black Hawk in Black Hawk, Colo.

The new casino will be called "Saratoga Casino-Blackhawk."

The casino, open since 1995, was renovated in 2008 and has about 600 slot machines and 11 table games plus restaurants, bars and a banquet facility.

NEACA, Inc., NEACA Show Promotions

With gun control in the National spotlight, scores of protesters are expected to greet gun enthusiasts when they arrive at an upstate New York venue that's hosting a firearms show this weekend. Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.