Remington Track Sale Approved
Oct. 29, 1999
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ MI Venture is studying whether night racing would make economic sense at the Remington Park horse race track it is purchasing from the DeBartolo Corp.
MI Venture, a Delaware subsidiary of Toronto-based automotive parts giant Magna International Inc., is to take over ownership when the deal is completed in about two weeks. MI Venture is chaired by racehorse owner Frank Stronach.
James Nicol, vice president of Magna International, said Remington was chosen to help fill a midwestern void for the company. Remington is the fourth recent acquisition for MI Venture. Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park are also owned by the company and Thistledown near Cleveland was part of Thursday's sale.
``We feel Oklahoma racing would be attractive with lights; Remington is a perfect fit,'' he said.
Nicol said the company will maintain the current Remington management.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission gave conditional approval of the acquisition Thursday during a special meeting. The sale will be final once a routine background investigation into MI Venture is completed.
The sales price for the 11-year-old track wasn't disclosed.
With the sales of Remington and Thistledown, the DeBartolo Corp. is down to only Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.
``We have funneled down to one entity, and we'll continue to operate it since we have slot machine approval,'' said Tim Kaple, vice president of racing operations. ``We are in the process of developing some property. We are not out of racing.''
The sale of Remington has been rumored or almost happened several times in recent years. The track has steadily lost business over the years.
The track's current season ends Dec. 5. The Horse Racing Commission approved 2000 dates of 16 days of thoroughbreds from Feb. 5 through March 31, 40 days of quarter horses from April 1 through June 10 and 67 days of thoroughbreds from Aug. 5 through Nov. 26.
Nicol said MI Venture plans to keep the assigned dates and has no immediate plans to eliminate quarter horse racing.