A fascinating evening of local history, with Brien Bouyea, author and director of communications for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs.
One of the more dynamic characters of his time, John "Old Smoke" Morrissey made his way from undefeated bare-knuckle boxer to found the Saratoga Race Course and win elections to Congress and the New York State Senate. A poor, uneducated Irish immigrant, Morrissey became a leader in the Dead Rabbits street gang. He won fame as a fighter and fortune as the operator of a string of successful gambling houses. He then took Saratoga Springs by storm. He improbably resurrected thoroughbred racing during the Civil War and opened his famous Club House, the most glamorous casino the country had ever seen. Author Brien Bouyea chronicles the incomparable life of a true American legend.