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December 15, 2009

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.

For the full story, click here.

Posted by Laura Smitherman at 9:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Slots


The De Francischildren are partly responsible for the downfall of racing in Maryland. They should be disqualified from the process.
Their father would not be happy with their ownership of his baby. Without Frank Sr, racing would have been gone years ago in Md.

Did O'Malley pass out gift cards like the convict Sheila Dixon?

Has any reporter ever asked the Governor about the gift cards Wendi?

Eddie and Wendi -- The O'Malley administration says he did not give out gift cards.
-- Laura Smitherman
State House reporter

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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