Magna

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NYRA Employees Indicted; Giuliani Cancels News Conference

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.

Magna May Have NYC-OTB Inside Track

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 Closes $6.3-Million Land Deal in NoCal

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 Eyeing Four U.S. Tracks, Another in Ontario

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: 'Show Me State' Ripe With Possibilities

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 Finishes $53 million Ladbroke Deal

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.

Portland Meadows to Close After Three Years

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.

Magna Group Hires Second New York Lobbyist

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.

Portland Meadows Changes Operators

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.

Magna-Led Group Hires Lobbyist in New York

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.

Another 'Super Track' Series Planned for April

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.

Back the Series

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.

Stronach's Daughter Vice Chair at Magna International

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 Reports $9.2 Million Fourth Quarter Loss

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.

Stage Is Set For Magna Cross-Country Challenge

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.

Sink or Swim

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.

Tuning In: NTRA Trying to Adjust TV Racing Schedule

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.

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.

NTRA Membership Remains Uncertain

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.

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.

McAlpine Appointed Magna President/CEO

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.

Common Threads

By Ray Paulick -- Frank Stronach hasn't been happy with the status quo -- but neither are some of his critics.

Gaines Calls For Stronach to Terminate or Delay Forum

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.

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.

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.

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.

Coming Up Short

By Ray Paulick -- Magna and Churchill have a common problem with short fields in California.

Five Want to Buy New York City OTB

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.

California Board Approves Golden Gate License

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.

Leap of Faith

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.

Powell Resigns Magna, Santa Anita Posts

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's Mandate

By Ray Paulick -- Frank Stronach is a very smart businessman -- too smart to drop out of the NTRA.

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