"There was a difference in opinion in the way (Magna chairman Frank) Stronach wants to go with Santa Anita and the way I thought it should go," Liebau said. "I just didn't buy into a lot of the plans he had for the track. The proposed new position with Magna -- a promotion if you will -- didn't have any appeal to me."Since purchasing Santa Anita, Stronach has had plans to turn the track into a multi-entertainment facility. Stronach hired retired jockey Chris McCarron as Santa Anita's general manager last year, which immediately led to rumors of Liebau's pending departure.
Jack Liebau resigned as president of Santa Anita Park Monday and will be replaced by Jack McDaniel, an entertainment executive who was involved in the design of the track's new paddock-area restaurant and bar.Liebau served as president of three California tracks owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. -- Santa Anita, Bay Meadows, and Golden Gate Fields -- since November 2001. Liebau had been president of Bay Meadows since 1992.The Los Angeles Times reports Liebau resigned rather than take a vice president position in Magna's corporate office.