Magna Entertainment, the racetrack company chaired by owner-breeder Frank Stronach, reported Monday a net loss of $9.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2000. For the year, the company reported net income of $441,000 on revenue of $413.6 million. The fiscal year profit was a reversal from 2000, when Magna posted a $62,000 loss; the 2000 fourth quarter loss was $3-million.
After months of negotiations, Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs will begin swapping signals on Feb. 17 as the result of a simulcasting agreement executed Friday. "The final hurdle was just the clarification of some language concerning the Florida statutes," said Gulfstream's president Scott Savin, who added that the bulk of the negotiations were handled through the California- based Simulcasting Department of Magna Entertainment Corporation, Gulfstream's parent track.
Magna Entertainment's stock dropped 10% Monday, the first day of trading following a company announcement that fourth quarter losses would be greater than anticipated.
- By Ron Mitchell
Magna Entertainment, which operates seven Thoroughbred tracks, reported Friday that its losses for the fourth quarter will exceed previous estimates. Rather than the previously estimated $0.04 to $0.05 per share loss, Magna said the revised estimate is a $0.11 to $0.12 per share loss for the fourth quarter and income of approximately $0.01 per share for the year.
Before heading to New Orleans to accept his four Eclipse Awards, Frank Stronach paid another visit to Dixon, Calif., a possible location for the new home of Bay Meadows.
Last week, Stronach requested a meeting with new Dixon Mayor Mary Ann Courville and Vice Mayor Gil Vega to pitch his dream track again. "It was a very good meeting, productive and friendly," said Dixon city manager Warren Salmons. "They rolled out a plan for us to look at . They wanted to let us know that they're still seriously interested."
Ten days after a private meeting with several members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors and three days after holding an open forum at Gulfstream Park, Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach announced Wednesday in a joint statement with the NTRA that the Magna racetracks will be rejoining the NTRA with a two-year commitment, effective immediately.
A joint statement from Magna Entertainment Corp., and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, announces Magna's decision to rejoin the NTRA with a two-year commitment after the NTRA has committed to changes in how the organization is governed.
Though he made no commitment to rejoin the National Thoroughbred Racing Association during a Sunday morning forum, Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach said he'll be back in if the NTRA and Breeders' Cup, now joined in a strategic partnership, pledge to democratically elect officers. Stronach also indicated he would be willing to represent Magna on the NTRA board should his tracks rejoin.
- By Tom LaMarra
A Sunday evening meeting between Magna chairman Frank Stronach and members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors was called "constructive" and could lead to a resolution within two weeks, officials said in a joint statement released Monday. Magna's seven racetracks were among the 22 that defected from the NTRA in late October. "There was give and take on a number of topics," the statement said. "We did not agree on every issue, but...the participants confirmed their strong mutual commitment to advancing the interests of horseracing. We are optimistic about the prospects of working together in the future with Magna's racetracks as members of the NTRA."
The officials in the California city said the meeting to discuss Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach's plans for Santa Anita Park went well.
- By Ray Paulick
Magna Entertainment (MEC) chairman Frank Stronach said on Wednesday he has no plans to cancel the open forum he has scheduled at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 14, dismissing the suggestion made Tuesday night by breeder John Gaines in a speech at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club in Lexington, Ky.
The opening salvos were fired in what could be a bloody war when Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park each filed with the Florida Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering plans to expand their live racing dates by approximately one month during the fiscal year that ends June 1, 2002. Unless altered by the deadline of March 31, 2001, Gulfstream will operate from Jan. 3 through April 20, 2002. Calder will run its usual Tropical-at-Calder dates in 2001-02, then open for its "summer" meet April 26, 2002. Both of those periods encroach on Hialeah Park.
The TV Games Network will make its long-awaited debut on Lexington cable television Thursday. As usual, racing from Aqueduct, Calder Race Course, Fair Grounds, and Turfway Park will be offered in the afternoon. TVG has been available on cable television in the Louisville, Ky., market for two years, and before that, its predecessor, On Demand Services, offered live racing on cable TV in that market. In Lexington, Insight Communications has slotted TVG as Channel 5
Current regulations in Palm Beach County could threaten Magna Entertainment's plans for a large South Florida training center because of the inclusion of housing for up to 500 grooms, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post.
Magna Entertainment, the growing racetrack company run by Frank Stronach, has entered into an agreement with Ladbroke Racing and a subsidiary to purchase Ladbroke's Pennsylvania-based account wagering system ("Call-A-Bet"), the Meadows harness track, and four off-track betting facilities, plus an interest in the Racing Network satellite TV channel.
Magna Entertainment chairman and interim president Frank Stronach is taking racing by storm, and nowhere is his presence more visible than in California. His company owns Santa Anita Park and both of the major tracks in Northern California. He is proposing a new, state-of-the-art track on 225 acres in Dixon, Calif. to replace Bay Meadows. According to the Sacramento Bee, Stronach's California moves and attempt to influence the country's racing industry have drawn both praise and criticism.
CIBC World Markets initiated coverage of Churchill Downs Inc. because of the company's growth potential. The investment bank also released an analysis of the racing industry.
Mark Feldman, Magna Entertainment's president and chief executive officer of 4 1/2 months, has resigned. MEC is consolidating its operations in Toronto and Feldman did not want to leave his home in California, the company has announced. Frank Stronach, MEC's founder and chairman, will serve as interim president and CEO.
John R. Gaines, the man who created the Breeders' Cup and also was behind the start-up of the National Thoroughbred Association, which many believe was the impetus for the formation of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, delivered some pointed words to Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach and the NTRA while accepting an award from the University of Arizona during its Racetrack Industry Program's Symposium on Racing last Thursday.
The president of Santa Anita cautioned Tuesday that downsizing and possible layoffs may occur at the Arcadia, Calif. track, which was purchased by his boss, Frank Stronach, two years ago. Only on the job for two weeks, Jack Liebau said that Stronach's company, Magna Entertainment, is re- evaluating operations at its seven racetracks across the United States. Liebau issued a one-page memo to Santa Anita employees last Thursday alerting them to potential future changes.
Magna Entertainment Corporation has completed its purchase of the company that operates Bay Meadows racetrack in northern California for $24.1 million in cash. In a press release, Magna said it will continue to conduct live racing at the San Mateo facility until Dec. 31, 2002, allowing the property owner time to complete a master plan and obtain the entitlements for development of the existing track property.
David Bailey, racing secretary at Arlington Park, already is at his desk at the South Florida track putting together a condition book.
Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach recently said Magna's racetracks would withdraw their membership from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association at the end of the year, joining 15 other tracks, including a coalition from the Mid-Atlantic region. Stronach took exception to a subsequent editorial in the Nov. 4 edition of The Blood-Horse suggesting he had "turned his back" on fellow owners and breeders through his decision, and he requested an opportunity to explain his position. He was interviewed by editor-in-chief Ray Paulick during the Keeneland sales on Nov. 8.
Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach, in comments made to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager's Club Tuesday night in Lexington, indicated his intention to create a circuit of "super tracks," and called for more democracy within the Thoroughbred industry. Stronach, who on two occasions during his talk took calls on his cellular telephone to bid on horses at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale -- "It's only monies," he told his agent during one conversation -- spoke for more than an hour and fielded numerous questions from the audience. He was at the podium the longest of any speaker at the monthly club gatherings in recent memory.
A meeting has been scheduled for Nov. 9 between Churchill Downs president Tom Meeker and representatives of 22 racetracks that have or will defect from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as of Dec. 31. The 22 member tracks account for almost $2.5 million in annual NTRA dues.
Racing associations in the Mid-Atlantic region aren't expected to renew their memberships in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, nor are the seven racetracks owned by Magna Entertainment. But officials indicated it could be a fluid situation up to the Nov. 10 deadline.
Formal bidding on New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. began Thursday. Organizations have until Nov. 10 to submit a formal bid for the nation's most lucrative OTB franchise.
Architectural firm outlines changes to South Florida racetrack, including addition of another turf course.
Racing and breeding news and information.
Although the biggest players in North American racing are among the bidders for the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation, the New York Racing Association reportedly has the inside track to purchase the company.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) on Friday approved Magna Entertainment Corporation’s proposed purchase of the Bay Meadows Operating Company.
Mark Feldman, executive vice president of E! Entertainment Television network, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Magna Entertainment Corporation.
The price of Magna Entertainment's stock continued its recent spiral.
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