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Magna Cancels Race Track Auction

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By Meymo Lyons

Magna Entertainment Corp. no longer plans to auction its Maryland properties and will instead transfer Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course to its parent company, a move likely to keep the Preakness in Maryland.

The race tracks were scheduled to go to auction tomorrow, but Magna informed auction participants that it would transfer the assets to its parent, MI Developments Corp.

Magna submitted the reorganization plan to a bankruptcy court, which must approve the new deal. Under the plan, the debt Magna owes its parent - approximately $435 million, will be written off and Magna will cease to exist.

The pay-off for MI Developments comes from a sure thing. The Preakness, the historic race run the third Saturday in May, draws about 100,000 spectators and generates more than $20 million in revenue each year: and a gamble, that Laurel Park will be reconsidered for a slot-machine license later this year.

Magna is currently challenging the Anne Arundel County council's zoning approval for a casino at Arundel Mills mall.

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