Members of the Congressional Horse Caucus April 28 discussed the pros and cons of legislation that would grant the United States Anti-Doping Agency oversight of equine medication policy, testing, and enforcement.
- By Ryan Conley
Magna Entertainment officials parried with contentious callers during an earnings conference call Nov. 2.
Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Thursday that Joseph A. DeFrancis has been appointed as a director of the company, effective immediately.
Magna Entertainment announced Monday that Joe DeFrancis, chief executive officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, has been appointed CEO of PariMax, a new company to oversee the development of Magna's "various electronic distribution platforms."
Maryland Jockey Club president Joe De Francis presented a new proposal to horsemen and breeders the week of Dec. 12 and said he believes the three sides are near a deal for 2006 racing dates. Horsemen and breeders, however, said it's not a done deal.
- By Nick Hahn
The purchase of the Maryland-Virginia Racing Circuit was approved at a special meeting of the Virginia Racing Commission Sept. 28. The management entity of Colonial Downs was purchased for $10 million by Colonial Downs from the Maryland Jockey Club which is owned by Magna Entertainment.
Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Tuesday that Thomas W. Hodgson has been appointed chief executive officer, replacing Jim McAlpine.
Joe DeFrancis, president of the Maryland Jockey Club, and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. did not violate campaign finance laws by arranging more than $200,000 in donations to a national organization headed by Miller, Maryland's state prosecutor said Monday.
The president of Pimlico warns that the home of the Preakness Stakes could close if slot machines are permitted elsewhere in the state and not at the Baltimore track.
Magna Entertainment Corp. and the Maryland Racing Commission are working on a document that would satisfy Magna's agreement to spend $5 million on upgrades at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course by Aug. 31, said Mike Hopkins, executive director of the commission.
- By Ray Paulick
A projected revenue shortfall due to mare reproductive loss syndrome has led Breeders' Cup officials to negotiate with racetracks for a 1% cut of simulcast handle on stakes that include purse enhancements from the Breeders' Cup.
Churchill Downs made a serious attempt in recent weeks to acquire Pimlico and Laurel Park in Maryland. The deal fell apart, however, over issues of control.
Exasperated by the state racing industry's continued bickering and failure to work together, the Maryland Racing Commission on Monday ordered the Thoroughbred and harness factions to resolve conflicts in two weeks or face punitive action that could lead to the denial of racing dates.
For one day, the sun shone on Maryland racing. On July 7, closing day at Pimlico, kids frolicked in the infield, nearly 6,500 patrons risked their dollars on the horses, and Joe De Francis, president and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, got dunked in the dunking booth.
In a tense meeting that exposed deep divisions within Maryland's racing community, the state racing commission on Wednesday rejected a plan for ceasing Thoroughbred racing for five weeks this summer so that horses can compete in Virginia. The commission voted 6-2 against the proposal advanced by the Maryland Jockey Club and a task force representing segments of the racing industry in Maryland and Virginia. The plan called for Pimlico and Laurel Park to close for racing from June 10 to July 14 while Colonial Downs, the struggling track near Richmond, conducted a 25-day summer Thoroughbred meet.
Virginia horsemen have two weeks to secure a loan that will allow Colonial Downs to pay an average of $200,000 in purses daily during a summer meet. The two-week deadline also applies to resolving a racing dates conflict between Virginia and Maryland.
- By Tom LaMarra
With crucial issues such as its Oregon wagering hub and board voting structure still unresolved, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is moving forward with a new 15-member board of directors and a recommitment from a major racetrack that had defected. "I appreciate the ongoing discussions, but we really have reached a make-or-break point," said Fair Grounds president and general manager. "I do think there's a reasonable possibility these things can be worked out."
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