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.
- By Tom Precious
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.
Magna Entertainment has signed agreements to take over the operation of Portland Meadows and acquire Multnomah Greyhound Park near Portland, Ore.
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.
A deal to sell the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. still awaits final approval from New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and the delay could thwart the plan for this year.
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.
Magna Entertainment reported an 87% increase in earnings to 28 cents per share along with double digit increases in revenue and net income for the first quarter ending March 31.
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.
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.
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.
- By Tom Precious
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.
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.
- By Tom Precious
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.
- By Scott Davis
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.
By Kenneth E. Kirchner -- Magna Entertainment Corp.'s plan for an East Coast/ West Coast team series is a fascinating idea that deserves the consideration and support of the entire racing industry.
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%.
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.
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.
It will be the Miami Cruisers taking on the Los Angeles Blaze in a pair of cross-country racing events, Gulfstream Park president Scott Savin announced Friday. Five days after what Savin called a "positive meeting" among horsemen at Gulfstream Park, Magna Entertainment Corp.'s idea for a rivalry between its flagship tracks, Gulfstream and Santa Anita, was endorsed by the Thoroughbred Owners of California, setting the stage for a series of six races on each coast.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- In its first three years, the NTRA has proven it can put out fires -- and there have been many. It's what happens next that is really important, because putting out fires was not what the NTRA's commissioner, Tim Smith, was hired to do. If Smith and his top aides no longer are required to spend most of their time and energy keeping the organization intact, we finally will be able to gauge how effective this national office for racing can be.
The re-entry of Magna Entertainment's seven racetracks into the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is expected to have an immediate impact on the NTRA's winter television schedule on ESPN and ESPN2, beginning with its first telecast on Feb. 3. That telecast will feature the Donn Handicap (gr. I) from Gulfstream Park and the Strub Stakes (gr. II) and San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) from Santa Anita. Both tracks are owned by Magna, whose chairman, Frank Stronach, announced on Jan. 17 in a joint statement with the NTRA that he has made a two-year commitment to rejoin the organization.
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
Who's in and who's out? Even the National Thoroughbred Racing Association may not know for a few more days -- at least. At the end of October, 22 racetracks announced they would not renew their memberships in the NTRA for 2001. But that number appears to have grown in recent weeks. Or has it? Though the NTRA had hoped for commitments from racetracks and horsemen's groups late last year, the "deadline" was extended into 2001 while the NTRA continued negotiations with Magna Entertainment, which owns seven tracks, and officials in the Mid-Atlantic region, where 12 tracks defected.
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.
Magna Entertainment Corp. appointed its third president and chief executive officer within a year. The Magna board appointed Jim McAlpine today as the company's president and chief executive officer. McAlpine was executive vice president of non-automotive affairs for Magna International, MEC's parent company and automotible parts manufacturing company founded by MEC chairman Frank Stronach.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Frank Stronach hasn't been happy with the status quo -- but neither are some of his critics.
The officials in the California city said the meeting to discuss Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach's plans for Santa Anita Park went well.
Magna chairman Frank Stronach's Jan. 14 open forum to discuss the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's future "should be terminated or at least delayed" if Stronach isn't willing to establish a structure and set an agenda for the session, John Gaines told the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager's Club Tuesday night in Lexington.
- 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.
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.
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.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Magna and Churchill have a common problem with short fields in California.
A partnership between Magna Entertainment, Greenwood Racing, and real estate investors Robert Baker and William Mack is pursuing the purchase of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. The partners are one of five groups that submitted formal bids late Friday for the nation's most lucrative OTB franchise. NYCOTB owns 68 betting parlors, three teletheaters, and four restaurant-sports pubs that generated a $1 billion handle last fiscal year.
With new member John Harris aboard, the California Horse Racing Board raced down to the wire and granted Golden Gate Fields its license approval just in time for the Albany track to open for business on schedule. The CHRB approved Golden Gate's license Tuesday afternoon on the eve of the Bay-side track's fall-winter season, which starts today.
Magna Entertainment Corp. reported an increase in revenue, but losses in earnings and net income for the its third quarter ending Sept. 30. The company also loses its second top executive in a month.
No appointees sprung out of the woodwork at the California Horse Racing Board's meeting Wednesday in Sacramento. That left Golden Gate Fields on hold.
By Robert Clay -- Recently, a few people in our industry decided to no longer participate in the NTRA process. The timing of their decision is an indication they are more interested in destroying the unity than growing the pie.
Executives from 22 racetracks are abandoning the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, saying the organization provides more competition than benefits.
Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) announced Friday that Lonny Powell, vice president of racing operations for the company and president and chief executive officer of Santa Anita Race Track, has resigned those positions but will remain with the company as a chief advisor.
Magna Entertainment Corp. will not follow through with its plan to build a track in the small Northern California city of Dixon, according to a published report in the Sacramento Bee.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Frank Stronach is a very smart businessman -- too smart to drop out of the NTRA.
A special committee will decide which New York City Off-Track Betting suitors can formally bid to purchase the OTB franchise. New York City Mayor Rudolph Guliani is expected to appoint the committee by the end of the week.
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 National Trust for Historic Preservation has placed the California track on its list of "America's Most Endangered Historic Places."
Several high-profile racing bills suffered quick deaths as the New York legislature ended its 2000 session.
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