The Maryland Racing Commission Thursday approved the transfer of Laurel and Pimlico race tracks to MI Developments Inc., whose CEO committed to bringing the businesses to a break-even status within two years. The approval was issued three days after a bankruptcy judge gave approval of Ontario-based Magna Entertainment Corp.’s reorganization plan that includes the transfer of five of its tracks and other assets to MID, its parent company, in exchange for the payment of debts and settlements.
CEO Dennis Mills said after the commission meeting, which was held at the Pimlico Race Course clubhouse and overlooked preparations being made for the 135th Preakness Stakes, he hoped to bring the properties to financial solvency quickly.
“Two years is the max, but we want to get [them] to break-even within months,” he said.
He said MID’s first order of business after the May 15 Preakness would be to meet with all the industry stakeholders, including horsemen and customers. The goal of those meetings would be to get feedback on how to make racing a financially viable proposition once again. During the bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware, testimony revealed that while the property value of many of Magna’s assets were high, the businesses themselves were generally losing propositions. Mills added MID would take suggestions sent through its website and could consider having meetings open to the public.
“The second thing is, after we get those ideas, we execute them,” he said.
But MID’s executives held back when asked by commission members about their plans for Laurel Park and Pimlico. They said MID had about $130 million in cash and capital from its real estate ventures, and noted their investment in improving Laurel’s turf track, now considered one of the best in the country. SOURCE: Maryland Daily Record