Report: Pimlico Profit Falls, Laurel Loss Grows

Profits at Pimlico Race Course fell almost 58% in 2003, according to a financial report filed with the Maryland Racing Commission.

Pimlico, owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., showed a profit of $671,000 on racing revenue of $27.6 million last year, compared with a profit of $1.6 million on racing revenue of $31.5 million in 2002, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Nearly a third of Pimlico's racing revenue--$9.1 million--came on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day. Pimlico's handle was $127.7 million in 2003, down 22.6% from $165 million. There were only 71 days of live racing at Pimlico in 2003, and 110 days in 2002.

Laurel Park had a loss of $4.5 million on racing revenue of $24.9 million in 2003, compared with a loss of $1.9 million on revenue of $22.6 million in 2002, the Sun reported. But Laurel's handle increased 15.1% to $176.5 million from $153.4 million in 2002.

Doug Illig, chief financial officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, told the Maryland Racing Commission April 20 poor weather was a contributing factor.

Pimlico and Laurel accrued a $2.17-million management fee to parent company MEC, the financial report said.

Joe De Francis, president and chief executive officer of the MJC, the tracks' minority owner, received a salary of $615,000 from both tracks in 2003. His sister, Karin De Francis, executive vice president of theMJC, was paid $385,000, the Sun reported.