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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Owner Peeved Over Painting

Where better to find some news on Magna than the Bankruptcy Beat blog from the Wall Street Journal. An inside look at companies in trouble from Daily Bankruptcy Review. David Romanik, who owned the 1989 Budweiser International winner Caltech, wants an oil painting of his horse back from Laurel Park.

In keeping with the custom for winning owners, Romanik, a Florida lawyer, thoroughbred breeder and former president of Gulfstream Park, commissioned an oil painting of Caltech and loaned it to Laurel. In court papers, he said his requests for the return of the painting have been ignored or refused.

Magna, which also owns Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes, and Santa Anita Park, host of this year’s Breeders’ Cup, didn’t return calls seeking comment. The company has put Laurel Park up for auction, along a number of other tracks it owns, including as part of its bid to restructure under bankruptcy-court protection.

“I’m not sure Laurel is going to be there after this is all over,” Romanik said. []
According to the court papers [pdf file, ht to wsj], Plaintiff Romanik (at the time, the attorney for Gulfstream Park) explains that all of the paintings of International winners were removed from public display after those prior to 1984 were auctioned off. Between that and the discontinuance of the race (at various times known as the D.C. International and last run in 1994), Plaintiff has made demand upon the debtor-in-possession for return of his property, namely the Caltech portrait, and such demand has been ignored and/or refused. Who knows what Frank has done with it; Romanik better hope he hasn't sold it himself!

Below is the video of the win by the then-three year old Caltech (Explosive Bid), with Dave Johnson with the call in competition with the in-house announcer at Laurel.

Many of you recognzied the familiar voice of Harvey Pack there at the end explaining that the horse had run in 25K claimers at Calder before switching to the grass. Prior to this race, Caltech took the Lawrence Realization at Belmont, prompting NY Times reporter Steven Crist to quip:
It did not reflect well on the New York-based grass 3-year-olds that two claimers from Florida ran first and second yesterday.
Some typical NY elitism for you!....though I don't believe that one would be so sanguine these days.

Of course, there's Magna bankruptcy news in the racing press today as well, with the news that Breeders' Cup has Churchill Downs out on deck for this fall's event. Though they don't have a backup plan for adverse weather events, they do have one for its host tracks going bankrupt.
Oak Tree’s executive vice president Sherwood Chillingworth said today that Breeders’ Cup officials want an assurance from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that the championship racing days will be allowed to take place at Santa Anita regardless of any potential sale of the track.

Breeders' Cup President Greg Avioli said he is confident that approval will be obtained in time. [Louisville Courier Journal]
Whatever. The Breeders' Cup decided in its ultimate wisdom that it would be a good idea to hold its event two years in a row at a track owned by a company who has been warning that its future as a going concern was in substantial doubt since 2006. So yeah, please drop me a note and lemme know how this turns out.


Anonymous said...

Good news Alan:

In a scene directly out of death-spiral example in a 100-level college course, the NYT is moving closer to death quarter by quarter.

From the article: The owner of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune and 15 other daily newspapers said Tuesday that it lost $74.5 million, or 52 cents per share, in the opening three months of the year. That compared with a loss of $335,000 at the same time last year, which was break-even on a per-share basis.

Fifty-two cents a share. Let's back out 18 cents for one-time accounting adjustments (including their layoffs), and we're still at 34 cents a share loss.

Anonymous said...

Pretty soon the paper of record will be the NY Post.

jk said...

Sabotage alleged against Delaware North
April 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm by James M. Odato

SL Green continues to compete with Delaware North in the Aqueduct VLT contract sweepstakes but is now ramping up the contest with a lawsuit alleging sabotage.

Anonymous said...

I read the SLG - DNC suit. If Empire/SLG are correct about the terms of the contract, DNC, and the state for that matter, have a lot of explaining to do as right after DNC broke from Empire, the threat of litgation was put forth by Empire if DNC persisted to bargain outside the Empire fold.