Less than a week after Magna Entertainment was tapped as the winning bidder for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., the company's chairman, Frank Stronach, said he would like to add the New York Racing Association franchise to his portfolio.
Daily Racing Form reported that Stronach made the comments Tuesday during a law conference at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He suggested that NYRA's three racetracks -- Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga -- are in need of investment and "jazzing up," the Form reported.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani recently selected a Magna-led consortium as the winning bidder for NYCOTB over NYRA because the Magna group offered a better financial package, he said. NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz has been critical of the process, and has said New York racing would suffer greatly if Magna does indeed end up with NYCOTB. Plenty of policital hurdles remain.
Magna currently owns eight racetracks -- Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, Great Lakes Downs, Gulfstream Park, The Meadows, Remington Park, Santa Anita Park, and Thistledown -- and recently signed agreements to take over operations at Portland Meadows and Multnomah Greyhound Park in Oregon. The company is said to have expressed interest in many other facilities across the country.