The Maryland Racing Commission upheld the live racing contract between the state horsemen's organization and the Maryland Jockey Club Oct. 6 after Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns the MJC, proposed slashing the number of live racing dates at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2006.
The three major racetrack operators -- Churchill Downs Inc., Magna Entertainment Corp., and the New York Racing Association -- have confirmed along with other racing associations and horsemen's groups the renewal of their membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
With 2006 a little more than three months away, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association continues to push for membership renewals and seek new members in advance of its annual meeting, scheduled for Oct. 10-12 in Lexington.
Maryland Jockey Club president and chief executive officer Joe De Francis created the picture of a locomotive bearing down on Maryland in the form of Pennsylvania slot machines as he encouraged the Maryland Racing Commission to accept a plan from Magna Entertainment Corp to cut live racing dates from 220 to 112 in 2006.
The Maryland Jockey Club and Magna Entertainment Corp., which operates Pimlico and Laurel Park, plans to slash the number of live racing dates in 2006, from roughly 200 in 2004 and 2005 to 112, in an attempt to bolster purses and level the playing the field with surrounding Mid-Atlantic tracks that use expanded gaming to increase purses.
Magna Entertainment Corp. and Colonial Downs, L.P. announced Thursday they have entered into an agreement under which Colonial LP will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Maryland- Virginia Racing Circuit, Inc., a subsidiary of Magna Entertainment.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officially gave the go-ahead for gaming Aug. 11 at two of the racetracks in the state, Remington Park in Oklahoma City and Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw.
Magna Entertainment Corp. expects to have partners lined up for some of its pending racetrack gaming operations before the end of this year, and hopes to have a presence in Nevada, where account wagering could be offered in the future.
The battle over the franchise to run three New York racetracks got off to an unofficial start Aug. 2 when officials with the New York Racing Association and Magna Entertainment Corp. sparred during an Albany Law School symposium.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's ongoing efforts in Washington, D.C. have become the major carrot as the organization seeks to sign up horsemen's associations for five-year memberships effective in 2006.
Magna Entertainment announced a recapitalization plan July 22 that includes two binding loan agreements with its subsidiary, MI Developments. The plan also includes a bridge loan that a Magna press release said "will permit us to proceed with an orderly marketing and sale of non-strategic real estate, racetracks, and other assets."
The rebuilding of Gulfstream Park is well under way and, according to Magna Entertainment Corp. officials, the facility will be ready when the next live meet begins the first week of January 2006.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has agreed to sell Flamboro Downs, a Standardbred racino in Ontario, Canada, to Great Canadian Gaming Corp., a casino company that continues to add racetracks to its portfolio.
Northville Downs, a harness racetrack in Detroit's western suburbs, has challenged a decision by the Office of Michigan Racing Commissioner to grant a Thoroughbred license to Magna Entertainment Corp. for its planned Michigan Downs.
The Maryland Jockey Club said the installation of sod for the Laurel Park turf course began May 31 under the supervision of turf superintendent Robbie Mitten.
The owner of Colonial Downs hopes the new "Grand Slam of Grass" is eventually worth $10 million and said two turf stakes at the Virginia racetrack that are part of the series would each be worth $1 million in 2006.
The Florida House voted May 2 to limit Broward County pari-mutuel facilities to bingo-based gambling machines rather than traditional slot machines and to take 55% of the revenue in taxes. The Senate, meanwhile, wants regular slot machines and a much lower tax rate.
Magna Entertainment Corp., which registered a $25-million decline in net income in the last year, expects to post a net loss for 2005 but is banking on profitability--and operation of slot machines in three states--by the end of 2007.
Magna Entertainment Corp. reported a net loss of $4.12 million for the first quarter of 2005, down from net income of $21.11 million for the comparable period in 2004.
Jack McDaniel, president of Los Angeles Turf Club, Inc., which operates Santa Anita Park, has stepped down after two seasons at the helm, Magna Entertainment Corp. announced in a press release dated April 22.
A top official at Magna Entertainment Corp. acknowledged the racetrack company's substantial debt but said he sees signs of a turnaround, perhaps sometime in 2006.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced April 7 that it has begun the final preparations for the new turf course at Laurel Park.
The HorsePlayer magazine, a handicapping periodical launched in 1994 and published six times a year, said March 29 it would no longer accept advertisements from offshore wagering hubs for its magazine or Web site. The decision is effective immediately.
A 1999 "forbearance agreement" that prevents Magna International from investing in operations such as Magna Entertainment Corp. won't be renewed next year, Magna chairman Frank Stronach told the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper.
Paul Cellucci, who formerly served as governor of Massachusetts and United States ambassador to Canada, is the new executive vice president of corporate development for Magna Entertainment Corp. beginning May 1.
Magna Entertainment Corp. must establish a stronger balance sheet before it considers expansion or the acquisition of other racing and gaming properties, said Thomas Hodgson, the newly appointed chief executive officer of the company.
Magna Entertainment Corp. is banking on legislation that would loosen state simulcasting laws and allow Portland Meadows to remain viable.
Attorneys for Magna Entertainment Corp. filed countersuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon Feb. 18 to formally answer a $1-million breach-of-contract action brought against the company by the Oregon Greyhound Association.
Pari-mutuel clerks in California said they are experiencing numerous problems with the state's tote system machinery and are concerned with the racing board's consideration of eliminating a four-second cancellation delay that gives them a last-gasp chance to correct a mistake.
Bill Bridgen has stepped down from his full-time post as HorseRacing TV's network president, it was announced Feb. 10.
Gulfstream Park has increased its on-track medical insurance for jockeys from $100,000 to $500,000 through the end of its current meet, which concludes April 24.
The Maryland racing industry has signed off on a plan to revitalize the sport should legislators approve alternative gaming. Though efforts to win approval for racetrack slot machines have stalled in recent years, a key legislator said the plan represents progress.
The Magna 5, a $2 pick five wager linking races from four racetracks in an hour, kicked off its second year by paying $406,985.80 to one winner Saturday. The winning ticket was purchased at Hollywood Park.
The Bay Meadows racing signal will be available to all three legal account deposit wagering companies in California when the Bay Area track opens for business under new management Feb. 2.
Gaming at Oklahoma racetracks is closer to reality, Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officials said Jan. 27 during their monthly meeting. Rules that would govern alternative gaming will be formulated in a month, they said.
The Oregon Greyhound Association filed a $1-million lawsuit against Magna Entertainment Corp. Jan. 20, alleging breach of contract for the company's failure to renew its operating lease for Multnomah Greyhound Park and for canceling the 2005 dog racing season.
Frank Stronach could not have asked for anything more Oct. 30. The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships was being held at Lone Star Park, owned by Stronach's Magna Entertainment Corp.
Retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron announced that he would resign from his position with Magna Entertainment this spring and move to Kentucky, where he intends to open a jockey school.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has threatened to discontinue operations at Portland Meadows in Oregon unless it receives concessions from the state legislature.
With no thaw in temperatures in the Portland metropolitan area, Portland Meadows Racetrack has canceled its live racing program Sunday for the second time in as many days due to frozen track conditions.
Portland Meadows has announced cuts in the 2005 stakes schedule totaling $51,500.
Racing was cancelled midway through Friday's 10-race program at Gulfstream Park when heavy rains and an impending severe lightning storm just to the North of the Hallandale Beach oval threatened the safety of horses, jockeys and patrons.
Santa Anita Park joins the worldwide relief effort to aid the victims of the massive Indian Ocean tsunami by auctioning off a special day at the races on March 5, Santa Anita Handicap day.
North American fans will have a rare opportunity to wager on a pair of Uruguayan group I races from Maronas National Racetrack Thursday.
Becky Witzman, assistant trainer for Richard Mandella for the past 6 ½ years, has joined HorseRacingTV as an analyst.
Magna Entertainment Corp. won't renew its lease of Multnomah Greyhound Park in Oregon when it expires Dec. 31, the company said in a Dec. 23 press release.
Youbet.com and AmericaTab, two online wagering companies, will again be able to offer races from all Magna Entertainment Corp.-owned racetracks under agreements announced Dec. 23.
North America's two biggest racetrack companies have joined forces to offer their products as a package to several European countries.
HorseRacing TV (HRTV), a subsidiary of Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) announced Dec. 16 it had signed a multi-year agreement that provides for HRTV to appear on Comcast systems as part of a digital sports package.
The TV Games Network and HorseRacing TV have announced new carriage agreements that will expand their reach.
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