The California Horse Racing Board disputes more than $3 million that it contends belonged to off-track wagering entities when Magna Entertainment Corp. filed for bankruptcy one year ago.
After failing to attract a qualified bid for Santa Anita Park this summer, bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp. is prepared to try it again early next year. Meanwhile, a committee of horse owners from the Thoroughbred Owners of California is continuing to negotiate the purchase of the picturesque 303-acre racetrack, site of the 2009 Breeders' Cup.
A representative from the Magna Entertainment Corp. assured the California Horse Racing Board March 6 that the company "is not going out of business" in spite of its bankruptcy petition and that horsemen purse accounts and customer winnings will be paid on an ongoing basis.
With Magna Entertainment Corp. reportedly in financial peril, the California Horse Racing Board has called an emergency meeting March 6 to determine the status of the MEC-owned tracks in the state, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, as well as the company's licensed advance deposit wagering entity, XpressBet.
Trying to undo the negative fallout over comments by his company's new CEO, Magna Entertainment founder Frank Stronach pledged $24 million for installation of synthetic racing surfaces at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields as well as much needed refurbishing of the Santa Anita barn area.
- By Tracy Gantz
An upscale mall to be constructed in Santa Anita's main parking lot took a step forward April 17 when the Arcadia City Council unanimously approved the project. The meeting lasted six hours before the council adjourned and then returned for another hour later in the day.
With its proposed Dixon Downs racetrack going before the voters of the town of 17,000 on April 17, Magna Entertainment Corp. has offered to turn the track's 14-acre infield into athletic fields open free to community organizations.
The fate of Magna Entertainment Corporation's $250 million state-of-the-art racetrack for Northern California will be decided in a special election April 17 by the city of Dixon, a town of 17,500 residents 19 miles west of Sacramento.
After months of wrangling, Magna Entertainment Corporation and the Florida horseman agreed Friday evening to the percentage of slots revenue that will increase horseracing purses at Gulfstream Park.
Paul Cellucci has resigned as Magna Entertainment Corporation's executive vice president of corporate development, the company announced June 30.
Joseph A. De Francis announced Feb. 9 that he is stepping aside as president of the Maryland Jockey Club but will continue as the organization's chief executive officer. Louis J. Raffetto, the MJC's chief operating officer, takes over as president while Chris Dragone becomes senior vice president and general manager.
- By Jack Shinar
A recall attempt in the town of Dixon, in part over Magna Entertainment Corporation plans to build Dixon Downs racetrack on the outskirts of the Northern California community, failed to attract enough signatures to qualify for the June 2006 ballot.
Five years after Frank Stronach first pitched his dream of Dixon Downs, Magna Entertainment's model racing and entertainment complex in Northern California reached a significant milestone Sept. 23 with the release of the draft environmental impact report.
- By Jack Shinar
Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields agreed to swap their dates in 2006 under a plan approved Sept. 22 by the California Horse Racing Board.
Feeling the pinch of losing its Bay Meadows lease and the continued drain brought on by the rebuilding Gulfstream Park and Laurel, Magna Entertainment reported $26.9 million in second-quarter losses, the company disclosed Thursday. That translates to a loss of 25 cents a share.
Acting Michigan Racing Commissioner Christine C. White awarded the one available racetrack license in the Detroit Metropolitan area to Michigan Racing Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Magna Entertainment Corporation (MEC).
At the final session in a series of city-sponsored public workshops March 19, Magna Entertainment presented its updated proposal for Dixon Downs, the $250 million state-of-the-art racetrack and entertainment complex the company wants to build in Dixon, Calif., 20 miles west of Sacramento.
HorseRacing TV will provide live coverage of the 11-date Dubai International Racing Carnival from Nad al Sheba Race Course in Dubai, beginning Thursday.
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.
- By Tom Precious
A measure to encourage the operation of video lottery terminals at several big racetracks in New York, including the New York Racing Association's Aqueduct track, collapsed Aug. 12 in Albany amid industry infighting, political intrigue and head-butting among powerful lobbyists.
The 67th running of the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap on Saturday kicks off a live weekend racing show on KDOC-TV (Channel 56) for the remainder of the meeting.
- By Jack Shinar
Santa Anita Park has won a longstanding property dispute with neighboring Santa Anita Fashion Park stemming from the sale of the racetrack to Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment Corporation in 1998.
Wagering handle on Magna's Pick 5 topped $600,000 Saturday for the first time since Magna Entertainment Corporation started it on Jan. 31.
- By Jack Shinar
While business at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields is off in 2004, the president and chief executive officer of parent company Magna Entertainment Corporation told the California Horse Racing Board on Feb. 19 that the outlook is improving.
Golden Gate Fields will reduce overnight purses by 3.8% beginning Feb. 11 due to total handle falling short of expectations, track officials announced Friday.
There was $460,400 wagered in the first week of Magna Entertainment's "Magna 5" wager. There were 28 tickets with all five winners, each worth $13,928.40.
After a public hearing attended by less than a dozen residents in Dixon, Calif. Thursday, Magna Entertainment Corporation was prepared to take the next major step for its proposed Dixon Downs racetrack – preparation of a draft environmental impact report.
Sunshine Millions on-track attendance Saturday showed a combined 22% increase over the inaugural 2003 running of the series at Gulfstream and Santa Anita parks.
Magna Entertainment Corporation announced it is offering a new national Pick 5 wager – the Magna 5 – with a guaranteed minimum pool of $500,000 at its tracks beginning Jan. 31 and continuing each Saturday through May 29.
As of Jan. 12, fans used to watching those grainy images of races from the Web sites of Magna Entertainment Corporation-owned Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park will be unable to do so without paying for streaming video service.
Magna Entertainment Corp. will host three gala fundraising events featuring advance screenings of Seabiscuit, the feature film from Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Bits and pieces from around the Thoroughbred industry...
Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) announced Friday that Lonny Powell, vice president of racing operations for the company and president and chief executive officer of Santa Anita Race Track, has resigned those positions but will remain with the company as a chief advisor.
Mark Feldman, executive vice president of E! Entertainment Television network, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Magna Entertainment Corporation.
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