Edited release from Magna Entertainment Corp.Michael Gilligan has been hired as the new vice president of marketing and sales for Santa Anita Park, parent company Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Sept. 7.Gilligan replaces Michael Ziegler, who resigned from the Arcadia, Calif., racetrack in May to take a similar position with Bay Meadows in northern California. MEC currently operates Bay Meadows, but a new operating company will take over in 2005.Gilligan, a native of Montreal, Quebec, spearheaded the launch of the Universal Studios Theme Park and CityWalk in Osaka, Japan. He specializes in developing marketing initiatives and creating innovative attractions and special events to establish new brands and revitalize existing brands, MEC said in a release."Michael is quite simply the most accomplished and innovative marketing executive working in the field of world-class theme parks and resorts," Santa Anita president Jack McDaniel said. "His experience will be critical in guiding Santa Anita's evolution from a seasonal venue to a spectacular year-round entertainment destination."MEC owns 12 Thoroughbred racetracks in the United States and is the leading racetrack company in terms of number of holdings. The company for years has said it plans to introduce new entertainment options at Santa Anita.