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Wandering Dago Food Truck Loses Contract At Saratoga Race Course

Mario Tama, Getty Images
Mario Tama, Getty Images

A mobile food truck with what some are calling an offensive name has been booted from the Saratoga Raceway.

The ‘Wandering Dago’ was only allowed to serve food on the grounds for one day before they were ousted, according to one of the truck’s owners, Brandon Loguidice.

”After opening day, we were called by an official from NYRA who told us that we needed to get our truck out by the next morning at 10 a.m. or they would tow it. He told me there was a state official who had a problem with our name and we had to get the truck out,” he said.

The issue is the term ‘dago’, which is a considered by many to be a slur against Italians. However, Loguidice says all it really refers to is Italian day workers who wanted ‘to be paid as the day goes,’ adding that’s what they – he and his wife – do.

”We really went out of our way to handle this is amicably as we could. We were supposed to be at the racetrack until the first week of September. Our goal is to move forward, obviously, we are business people. But, at this point, I don’t think there is any chance that track officials are going to change their minds,” Loguidice said.

He says its has been communicated to him that the order to boot the truck from the property came from a ‘high ranking state official’ and says he’s been told by at least one official from Saratoga that their ‘hands were tied’.

”We did a ton of homework [on the name]. There is some irony here. After doing some homework with the division of corporations, there’s four other corporations in the state of New York fully licensed with the work ‘dago’….we talked to people with the state and [there was] absolutely no problem. The context in which we wanted to use it has no derogatory meaning,” Loguidice said.

”I want to relay this to everyone. We love Saratoga. We all worked very hard negotiating these contracts, in their press release we were their No.1 vendor. There was a great partnership that was forming, and that’s what’s so hard to digest. We were even donating 5% of our proceeds to a thoroughbred retirement fund,” he said.

The photo above was found at the WanderingDago facebook page, which also had posted this message:

We think it is time – The name of our truck is not changing. Go take down Cracker Barrel or Guido’s Desserts perhaps. They have no problem with people hassling them. I was the Little Dago growing up and if people don’t like the name, they don’t have to do business with us. Make no mistake, we are not calling anyone a “Dago” – that is a self reference. If you are curious about a self reference, listen to a rap song. We are Italian and Proud.

Listen to full interview from WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning:

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