The New York Racing Association, apparently seeking to cover its bases in its fight to block the sale of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. to a consortium headed by Magna Entertainment, has lured away a top executive from a Magna-owned racetrack.
The Oak Tree Racing Association meet at Santa Anita Park, which has produced 21 winners of Breeders' Cup events, kicks off Wednesday afternoon with a fund-raising effort for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Oak Tree will match all donated funds up to $100,000.
Churchill Downs' board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 55,000 shares. The buy-back was authorized to help stablize the company's stock price and contribute to stablizing the market overall. Despite financial experts pleas to investors that they should not react to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., the major stock markets sustained significant losses.
Magna Entertainment's plans for a year-round training facility in South Florida moved forward Aug. 27 when Palm Beach officials amended local laws to allow the company to build accomodations for up to 500 grooms at its site near Boynton Beach. The previous limit was 20 grooms' quarters.
Portland Meadows will not open Sept. 1 as planned because the Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a plan to keep contaminated storm water from leaving the racetrack property. Magna Entertainment was notified Tuesday that the plan was rejected. The environmental problems could accelerate the company's plans to build a new racetrack in the area.
The California Horse Racing Board on Aug. 24 approved next year's calendar for Southern California, and for the first three months of 2002 for Northern California. Among the changes is an elimination of six-day racing weeks except for Del Mar.
Former president Bill Clinton and golf pro John Daly were among those invited to a charity golf tournament Monday at Magna Golf, a private course owned by Magna International in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. The Globe and Mail of Toronto reported that money raised during the tournament would go to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.
Less than a week after Magna Entertainment was tapped as the winning bidder for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., the company's chairman, Frank Stronach, said he would like to add the New York Racing Association franchise to his portfolio.
Setting the stage for a nasty battle between two racing giants, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Thursday afternoon tapped a group led by Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment over the New York Racing Association as the winning buyer of the lucrative New York City Off Track Betting Corp.
Magna Entertainment reported an 11% increase in revenue and a 21% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for the second quarter ending June 30. The recent quarter was the first to include all the company's operations.
Breeders' Cup has announced it received approval from its board of directors for proposed changes to the system used to elect board members. The change stems from a request by Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach and was tied to his racetracks' membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Four New York Racing Association employees have been indicted as part of a probe by state investigators into an alleged money laundering operation. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cancelled an 11 a.m. news conference at which he was to announce a group led by Magna Entertainment had won the purchase rights to the New York City Off Track Betting Corp.
New York's top Democrat in the state Legislature said New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has told him the city government is inclined to sell its massive off track betting operation to a consortium of racing interests headed by Magna Entertainment.
New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. falling into the hands of a consortium led by Magna Entertainment would be "an affront" to the entire racing industry, the head of the New York Racing Association charged.
The Ocala Star-Banner has reported that Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach has asked to meet with members of the Ocala City Council about possible plans to build a racetrack in the Central Florida city. Two meetings reportedly scheduled with Stronach and Steve Gray, a local attorney representing him, were postponed.
Remember Tioga Park in New York's southern tier? If you don't, you're not alone. But the former Quarter Horse track is being shopped around as a potential investment in light of the fact the concept of video lottery terminals at racetracks is generating much discussion in the state legislature. Meanwhile, Gov. George Pataki said the VLT proposal would be considered.
The sale of New York City Off-Track Betting apparently hinges on legislative changes that would make the entity more attractive to potential buyers. Meanwhile, it appears the state legislature may have more time to examine the issue given the fact they may remain in Albany into the summer.
Without fanfare, Magna Entertainment completed its purchase of a Sacramento Valley site for a new home for its Bay Meadows Race Course. Magna closed a $6.3-million deal on 226 acres of freeway-side property in Dixon, located about 19 miles west of Sacramento on Interstate 80.
Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach told shareholders May 11 that he plans to buy four more racetracks in the United States. He said he hopes the racing conglomerate will control 35% of the U.S. handle on Thoroughbred races within two years. Stronach is also considering breaking into the Ontario racing market.
With only one vote to spare, legislation to permit year-round simulcasting passed the Missouri House Wednesday and was sent to the Senate. The bill is key to a plan by Magna Entertainment to build a racetrack in the state.
Top officials in Michigan said an investigation has revealed that pari-mutuel wagering companies have illegally accepted wagers from Michigan residents by telephone or through the Internet. The companies have been sent "warning letters," the officials said.
In an April 17 letter to Hialeah chairman John Brunetti, Tom Meeker, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc., flatly denied allegations of collusion with Magna Entertainment Corp. in their filings for 2002 racing dates for their Florida properties. Churchill Downs owns Calder Race Course, and Magna Entertainment owns Gulfstream Park.
In the absence of a dates agreement between three Thoroughbred tracks in South Florida, Hialeah Park chairman John Brunetti has proposed a year-round, three-track schedule, and said Hialeah would allow Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park to have the first and second choices. There have been hints the current meet at historic Hialeah could be its last.
Thistledown's plan to revamp its racing program to compete for horses with nearby Mountaineer Park in West Virginia has paid off, at least very early in its 2001 meet. Track general manager Bill Murphy said the increase in field size had much to do with the spike in handle.
Magna Entertainment is on the move again, this time in Missouri, where pari-mutuel wagering is legal but no racetracks have been built. A bill co-sponsored by nine legislators has been introduced in the House and Senate, where it could be discussed this week. The legislation spells out the powers of the racing commission, a requirement that at least 50 days of live racing be held, and a mandate that a capital investment of at least $25 million be made to build a track.
The long process to name a purchaser for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. reached an expected final step when city government narrowed the field to two final bidders: a consortium headed by the New York Racing Association, and another by Magna Entertainment. Meanwhile, Gov. George Pataki, in a brief interview this week, said he favors the sale of NYCOTB. Pataki, who can kill any deal when it comes to Albany for review, has been largely silent on the issue in recent months.
Magna Entertainment has completed a deal to acquire an account wagering system, The Meadows harness track, four off-track betting parlors, and an 18% interest in The Racing Network for $53 million in cash, stock, and a promissory note.
Tom Moyer, who bought the operating rights to Portland Meadows last month, will keep the track open up to three years then develop the property. The racetrack will be managed in the meantime by Magna Entertainment, which may step in and preserve live racing in the Portland area with a new or existing track.
Northern California has been without an equine hospital for many years. But a cooperative effort between veterinarians, Golden Gate Fields owner Magna Entertainment, and other agencies may change that.
With a decision on the sale of the lucrative New York City Off Track Betting Corp. imminent, one of the groups vying for the contract has hired another influential lobbyist in Albany to help close the deal with state officials if it should emerge victorious in the bidding. The group, led by Magna Entertainment, confirmed Thursday it has retained as its second lobbyist William Powers, who until only last month was the state's powerful Republican Party chairman.
At the New York Capitol building Tuesday afternoon, legislative sources were already predicting the new partnership of the New York Racing Association, Churchill Downs Inc., and the TV Games Network has a strong edge over the group headed by Magna Entertainment in the bidding for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp.
Churchill Downs Inc. ended weeks of speculation Tuesday when it confirmed it has joined the New York Racing Association and the TV Games Network in a bid to purchase New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. The company has withdrawn the bid it previously submitted on its own behalf to the New York City Development Corp., which is overseeing the possible sale of New York City OTB.
Real estate developer Tom Moyer bought the operating rights for Portland Meadows, Oregon's largest racetrack. The change, however, does not bring much stability to the state's Thoroughbred racing industry.
A Magna Entertainment-led group that submitted a bid for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. has added a well-placed lobbyist at the state capital, an unusual pre-emptive move for a contract that hasn't been awarded. GMR-NY, a company incorporated in Delaware, has signed a deal to pay $110,000 to Patricia Lynch, who until Dec. 31 had been the closest adviser to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat.
Magna Entertainment officials, fresh off of their initial foray into team racing on March 10 at Gulfstream Park, are planning a second round of their Super Track series, possibly as soon as April in California. Organizers hope to work out some of the kinks that forced cancellation of the event in California in early March.
Magna Entertainment Corp. officials, fresh off of their initial foray into team racing on March 10 at Gulfstream, are planning a second round of their Super Track series, possibly as soon as next month in California.
Promoters pushing to legalize video gambling at racetracks in New York have stepped up their efforts in recent weeks to make a last-gasp push to get the controversial devices turned on at Thoroughbred and harness tracks. The quiet but intense effort, first reported by The Buffalo News, has been spurred by a new plan to use the state Lottery Division as a possible way to allay concerns about the constitutionality of the machines.
The first of two rounds in Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" has been canceled because of a lack of time to prepare and possibly complications tied to medication rules. The first round of the series -- six $100,000 races at Santa Anita Park March 3 -- has been scrapped, the Magna-owned California track announced Tuesday. The second round, scheduled for March 10 at Gulfstream Park, Magna's Florida track, will go as planned, officials said.
The complicated details of a bicoastal series designed to generate more fans and boost field size at two Magna-owned tracks were announced Friday at a press conference. Now, track officials need to schedule a series of classes so people understand it.
The Oak Tree Racing Association at Santa Anita Park has been officially selected as host site for the 2002 Breeders' Cup Championship. The Breeders' Cup board of directors made the announcement after a meeting Friday.
Belinda Stronach, the 34-year-old daughter of Magna International chairman Frank Stronach, has been named chief executive officer and vice chairwoman of the company. Magna International reported a 6% decline in fourth-quarter earnings from the year-earlier period. Revenue climbed 6%.
All parties that met the city's demand of a bid of at least $250 million remain in the running for ownership of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., sources close to the situation said Thursday. City officials have strongly denied a published report this week that the field has been narrowed to two bidders -- one group led by the New York Racing Association, and the other by Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment.