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Mary Lou at Track 150 Aniversery Announcement

Mary Lou Whitney with husband, John Hendrickson, flew up from Kentucky to be at the press briefing for the 150 Celebration of racing in Saratoga.

She and John are honorary Co-Chairs for the Celebration but make no mistake Mary Lou plans to take an active role in the Celebration just as she played a prominent role in the 100th Anniversary Celebration in Saratoga Springs in 1963. (Watch video of Mary Lou on

That's good news for Charles Wait, Adirondack Trust CEO who was asked last year, what do you think about the Track being 150 years old in 2013.

As Wait told the press at the briefing. That wasn't the question, it was what are you going to do.

What Wait did was form an exploratory committee and he got seed money from Adirondack Trust, Skidmore, NYRA, Stewarts and more. (Wait's on video, too)

He also asked Mary Lou and John Hendrickson to be Honorary Co-Chairs..

Honorary in this case meant active participation and Hendrickson spoke of projects that he had initiated: Hoof Prints of Fame Walk, videos of historic Saratoga races and a special Saturday promotion for fans during the 2013 racing season. (See video of John on

Then, Joe Dalton, retired Chamber president and now Wait's right hand on the 150 Committee, gave details of the Celebration. This Celebration was going to last 5 months. That's longer than some going-out-business sales.

The big kick-off would be over the Memorial Day Weekend with a huge party at SPAC. Over 65 non-profits would tie-in with special projects. Our Museums would have special exhibits.

Broadway will not be closed for a Chicken Barbecue next year. This might be a decision the Committee could reconsider - the Victorian Walk when Broadway is closed is the highlight of the holiday season in Saratoga.

joe described how the community could help back the Celebration. Commemorative medallions ($15) would soon be sold at Adirondack Trust and other locations. Pins and other ways to support the effort will be offered on

Joe was delighted to report I Love NY would be featuring the Celebration in its promotion for the State.

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