In The Sun Today: Bidders on Maryland tracks and their motives vary widely
A diverse group of investors have emerged in the bidding war for some of the top horse-racing venues in Maryland. Potential motives also are varied -- ranging from a desire to save the hard-hit thoroughbred industry, to raze the tracks for other development, or to position for a possible shot at putting slot machines at the tracks in the future. We'll have to wait and see; the auction is next month.
Cordish, De Francis and sister among 6 bidders for tracks
The Cordish Cos., the prolific Baltimore developer that is trying to bring slot machines to Anne Arundel County, emerged Monday as one of six groups that want to buy Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Preakness from bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp. in an auction next month.
Cordish is one of two groups that have said publicly they are interested in buying the tracks. The winner will play a crucial role in helping to shape the future of racing in Maryland and securing the fate of the Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown horse racing event.
Joseph A. De Francis, the former owner of the racetracks, also put in a bid with his sister, Karin De Francis, through their family company Gainesville Associates, in an attempt to regain involvement in racing in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reported their interest on Friday.
Neither Cordish nor the De Francis family gave details about their bids. An attorney running the auction procedures for Magna said the other bidders declined to have their bids publicly revealed.
"Each of them will be immediately recognizable to the constituents in Maryland," said Michael A. Wildish, managing director of Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC, the New York firm running the auction for Magna.
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