Donn was appointed president of Gulfstream in 1978 at the age of 31 following the death of his father, James Donn Jr. Donn's grandfather, James Donn Sr., purchased Gulfstream in 1944 while it was bankrupt. The track was family owned until 1989 when a rift forced its sale to Bertram and Diane Firestone. MEC purchased Gulfstream in 1999."I would like to commend Doug on his 35 years of service to Gulfstream Park during which time he oversaw Gulfstream's emergence as one of the preeminent Thoroughbred racetracks in North America," McAlpine said. "We have been fortunate to benefit from Doug's experience and insight since our purchase of Gulfstream in 1999. I would like to think Doug on behalf of MEC and hope he enjoys a long and well-deserved retirement."
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.The reason for Donn's resignation was not specified in a press release issued Tuesday by track owner Magna Entertainment Corp., but MEC chief executive officer Jim McAlpine called it a "well-deserved retirement." Donn had served as chairman of the Gulfstream Park Racing Association since March of 2000."My family has been involved in Gulfstream Park's operations since 1944 and are proud of our accomplishments at Gulfstream and within the Thoroughbred industry," Donn said. "I am excited about MEC's vision for Gulfstream and I look forward to the completion of the total redevelopment of Gulfstream as a next generation racing and entertainment venue."