Lone Star Waits on Bid to Reopen Uruguay Track

Lone Star Park officials said they will know by September whether the Texas racetrack will operate a racing facility in Uruguay in conjunction with Hipica Rioplatense, a gaming and technology concern.

Lone Star wants to reopen Maronas Racetrack, located near Montevideo in the South American county, and further expand its operation in Latin America. Maronas has been closed for three years.

Lone Star Park signed a contract July 6 with Hipica Rioplatense, which is headed by Argentine Santiago Villamil and includes the corporations Scientific Games and Groupo Codere, as well as South American owner and breeder Samuel Liberman.

Lone Star Park would be the operator of the track and its five off-track betting parlors if it wins the concession.

"The government of Uruguay has established a two-phase process for determining candidates, and the first phase has resulted in only two qualified bidders," Lone Star chairman Bob Kaminski said. "Over the next 45 days, the government will continue to review the bids based on the qualifications of the members of the bidding team and the economics of each proposal."

Welmir, a partnership formed by the Radisson Hotel with the capital of Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, also bid to operate the track. The group also includes Argentina's Palermo Racetrack, which is managed by HAPSA Argentine Corp.

In 1999, Lone Star signed a letter of agreement to be the chief racing adviser for Hipodromo de Las Americas Racetrack in Mexico City.