Joe Defrancis

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DeFrancis Named CEO of New Magna Company

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 Horsemen, Breeders Digest Dates Plan

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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.

Virginia Board OKs Colonial's Management Purchase

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.

MJC President Cleared in Probe of Campaign Contributions

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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.

Magna Plans to Satisfy Agreement with Maryland Commission

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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.

Sun and Fun at Pimlico Belie Industry Problems

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.

Maryland Racing Commission Rejects Plan For Colonial Downs

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.

New Board Member Says NTRA 'At Make-Or-Break Point'

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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