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Dixon Downs On Track, Official Tells Planners

Four years after it was first proposed, Magna Entertainment's $250 million dream track for Northern California is finally nearing the public hearing stage. A series of meetings on various aspects of the development will be held in 2005, Dixon city officials said at a planning commission meeting Dec. 21.

Michigan Racing Commissioner to Leave Post

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Michigan Racing Commissioner Robert Geake said he would leave his post when his term expires at the end of December, and that he hopes to make the long-awaited decision on granting a suburban Detroit racetrack license before he goes.

MEC Wants to Be Friend of New York Racing

The president of Magna Entertainment Corp. said Dec. 10 the company would like to be part of a new organization -- Friends of New York Racing -- which hopes to reconstruct the economic model for racing in the state and perhaps seek the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.

McAlpine: Industry Needs Change, Vision

Magna Entertainment Corp. president Jim McAlpine said the company is ready for change and part of that change includes forming more partnerships with other industry players to propel horseracing into the winner's circle.

For NTRA, Membership Scheme a Priority for 2005

With membership contracts set to expire at the end of 2005, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is formulating a long-range strategy that is expected to rely on dues in some form. Meanwhile, the search for a chief executive officer won't begin until the master plan is in place.

MEC Losses Impact MI Developments

MI Developments, the real estate spin-off of Magna International, reported a third-quarter profit of $11.5 million, but a $27.4-million loss at Magna Entertainment Corp. created a bottom-line deficit of $15.9 million. MEC is controlled by MID.

Passage of Michigan Proposal Hinders Racing

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Michigan voters effectively sounded the death knell for racinos in the state when they passed the anti-gambling Proposal 1 by a 58%-42% margin with 98% of precincts reporting.

XpressBet Approved in Washington

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XpressBet received a license from the Washington Horse Racing Commission to become the second authorized advance deposit wagering provider in the state Oct. 14.

MI Developments Won't Buy Out Magna

MI Developments, which owns 59% of the equity in Magna Entertainment Corp., announced Thursday that it will not proceed with plans to take the racetrack conglomerate private by acquiring all outstanding shares.

MEC Takes Heat for State of Maryland Racing

Castigating the management of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course for everything from construction delays to security cutbacks to apathetic customer service, the Maryland Racing Commission delivered a stern message Sept. 14 to the Maryland Jockey Club and its parent company, Magna Entertainment Corp.

MI Developments Names 'Lead Director'

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M. Douglas Young has been appointed lead director of MI Developments' board of directors, the company announced Sept. 2. MID is a Magna company that is seeking to purchase the stock of Magna Entertainment Corp.

Pimlico Meet Ends With Decline in Handle

Pimlico Race Course in Maryland ended its 16-day summer meet Aug. 27 with a 10% decrease in average daily total handle. The 2004 meet was six days shorter than the corresponding 2003 meet, though it included four more simulcast-only days.

MEC Sells Great Lakes Downs in Lease-Back Deal

Magna Entertainment Corp. has sold Great Lakes Downs in a lease-back deal that will allow it to operate a live Thoroughbred meet at the western Michigan facility and pursue plans for Michigan Downs, a proposed racetrack in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Magna Back in Hunt for Pennsylvania Track License

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The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has finalized at five the number of applicants seeking the final Thoroughbred racing license in the state. Only four applicants hit an informal Aug. 16 deadline to apply for the last license, but Magna Entertainment Corp. has reiterated its interest in building a track near Pittsburgh International Airport.

Top U.S. Racing Companies to Study Jockey Scale of Weights

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The nation's top three horse racing companies have teamed to study the current jockey scale of weights and make recommendations on potential national reforms to the Jockeys' Guild, horsemen's groups, racing associations and racing regulators.

Thistledown Wins a Battle in Simulcast War

Thistledown, the Magna Entertainment Corp.-owned racetrack that has battled for years over simulcasts with a neighboring harness track, received approval Aug. 10 from the Ohio State Racing Commission to import races it hasn't been able to take because of state law.

Magna Posts Losses But Growth Plan Continues

Magna Entertainment Corp. recorded a net loss of $25.4 million in the second quarter of 2004, but officials said the company continues to "see meaningful results" from cost-cutting initiatives and the work of its Continuous Improvement Team.

MEC Has Plans--With or Without NYRA

Magna Entertainment Corp. is still willing to partner with the New York Racing Association, but it is also pursuing its own move into the New York marketplace in case NYRA isn't serious about a merger, MEC president Jim McAlpine said.

Taking Care of Business

By Ray Paulick -- This is supposed to be the time of year when the racing world starts talking Saratoga and Del Mar, and the search begins for the hot 2-year-olds who look like they could be Triple Crown prospects 10 months from now.

Hope for New Thoroughbred Track Seems Dim

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Hope that passage of slot machine legislation in Pennsylvania would result in a new Thoroughbred racetrack near Pittsburgh seems futile. Negotiators with knowledge of the bill signed into law July 5 by Gov. Ed Rendell said a stand-alone slots parlor in downtown Pittsburgh is much more likely.

Magna Moves Gagliano to Maryland Executive Post

Jim Gagliano, who joined Magna Entertainment Corp. more than two years ago, has been appointed executive vice president of Maryland racing operations for MEC, majority owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course under the Maryland Jockey Club banner.

Some For, Some Against Michigan License Transfer

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Groups for and against the proposed transfer of Michigan's Great Lakes Downs racing license had their say at a state racing commission hearing in Lansing July 29. And what they said was nothing more than expected.

Laurel Park Project to Force Relocation of Horses

The Maryland Racing Commission June 8 narrowly gave the go-ahead to Magna Entertainment Corp., parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club, to begin rebuilding the turf and dirt tracks at Laurel Park despite strong objections by horsemen.

Donn Resigns as Chairman of Gulfstream

Doug Donn, who since 1969 served in a variety of capacities at Gulfstream Park, ended his 35-year affiliation with the track by tendering his resignation as chairman of the board of the Gulfstream Park Racing Association.

Workers at MEC's Flamboro Downs Set Strike Deadline

Employees at Magna Entertainment Corp.'s Standardbred track Flamboro Downs have set a strike deadline of midnight Tuesday in response to what it called MEC's "attempt to intimidate workers into dropping key demands" during collective bargaining negotiations.

Maryland Officials: Help Needed to Protect Industry

Maryland racing officials and politicians really didn't make any excuses during the May 13 Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico Race Course. Instead, they called on the racing industry to do everything it can to facilitate a turn of fortunes for horse racing in the state.

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