SBD/Issue 65/Facilities & Venues

Cordish Co. Among Six Bidders For Pimlico, Laurel Park, Preakness

MEC Scheduled To Hold Auction On January 8
To Sell Pimlico, Laurel Park And Preakness
Baltimore-based developer Cordish Co. yesterday emerged as "one of six groups that want to buy" Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Preakness Stakes from Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC), according to Walker & Smitherman of the Baltimore SUN. MEC is holding an auction for the properties on January 8, and preliminary bids were due last Friday. Former Pimlico and Laurel Owner Joseph De Francis also filed a bid with his sister, Karin, through the family's Gainesville Associates. The four other bidders "declined to have their bids publicly" revealed. Orioles Owner Peter Angelos previously had expressed his interest in bidding for the tracks. The state of Maryland, "concerned about the future of the Preakness, has the right to review the bids and match any bid for the race." Walker & Smitherman notes the winner of the auction "will play a crucial role in helping to shape the future of racing in Maryland and securing the fate of the Preakness" (Baltimore SUN, 12/15). Another potential buyer is Maryland developer Carl Verstandig, who on Friday said that a "partner put in a bid for the two tracks" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/14). The De Francis siblings inherited the tracks when their father, Frank, died in '89, and owned them for 13 years before selling the properties to MEC in '02 (Baltimore SUN, 12/12).

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