List of buyers for Rosecroft is narrowed

Former Arundel executive is apparently ruled out

December 14, 2003|By Greg Garland and Ivan Penn | Greg Garland and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

A committee reviewing bids to purchase Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County has narrowed the field of potential buyers to three finalists and expects to make a final recommendation to the harness track's shareholders this week.

A partnership that includes a former Anne Arundel County executive is apparently not among the finalists.

Thomas Chuckas Jr., chief executive officer of Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc., which owns the track, declined to name the finalists. But he did confirm that the track has gone from 10 bidders to three.

"We've gone back to three principals for additional information and clarification, and we have our accountant evaluating some of these proposals," Chuckas said. "Some of the specifics we're looking at is racing background and the minority equity piece."

Chuckas said the track's shareholders have a meeting Dec. 20, during which a committee of the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association plans to meet.

Chuckas also would not say which bidders had been rejected, but sources close to the deal said those no longer in consideration include Penn National Gaming and a partnership that includes former Anne Arundel County Executive Robert A. Pascal and Prince George's businessman Carl D. Jones.

Rosecroft's owners received 10 bids to purchase the track with upfront payments ranging from $10 million to $25 million and offers to share potential slot machine revenue that could add tens of millions of dollars more over time, according to internal corporate records.

Gambling experts have said that Rosecroft, located off the Capital Beltway near the Potomac River, is potentially the most lucrative site in Maryland for a racetrack casino if the General Assembly decides to approve slot machines at horse-racing tracks.

Other potential buyers include a group headed by Baltimore lawyer Louis Angelos, son of Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos. It was unclear whether Angelos remained a contender in the purchase. He did not respond Friday to messages left at his office.

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