Magna Entertainment

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Magna Losses Will Exceed Previous Estimates

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.

Magna Continues With Plans For New California Track

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."

Magna Gives NTRA Two-Year Commitment

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.

Magna Membership Hinges on Breeders' Cup Board

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.

Resolution May Be Near in Magna-NTRA Conflict

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."

Stronach Won't Change Plans for Gulfstream Forum

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.

Florida Poised for 2002 Dates Overlap

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.

TVG Makes Lexington Cable Debut Thursday

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

Magna Gets Call-A-Bet System, Track in Ladbroke Deal

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.

Examining the Enigmatic Frank Stronach

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.

Magna President Resigns; Stronach Takes the Helm

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.

Straight Talk From Gaines on Stronach, NTRA

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.

Santa Anita Management Warns of Possible Layoffs

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 Closes on Bay Meadows Purchase

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.

Stronach Defends Position on NTRA, Offers Views on Industry

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.

Stronach Envisions Magna 'Super Track' Circuit

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.

Meeting Set Between Meeker, NTRA Defectors

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.

NTRA Expected to Get Defection Letter Friday

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.

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