Magna VP to oversee operations at Md. tracks


Horse Racing

July 02, 2004|By Kent Baker and Ed Waldman | Kent Baker and Ed Waldman,SUN STAFF

The head of off-track betting operations for the Maryland Jockey Club's parent corporation yesterday was appointed to the No. 2 job at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.

Jim Gagliano, a group vice president at Magna Entertainment Corp. and a former general manager of Philadelphia Park, was named executive vice president/Maryland racing operations and will be responsible for the oversight of management of the day-to-day racing operations at the two tracks, according to president and chief executive officer Joe De Francis.

"We're in the middle of an unprecedented capital plan," De Francis said. "We're ... rebuilding the surfaces at Laurel, building a new dirt course, a new turf course. ... We have very extensive redevelopment plans for [Laurel] and Pimlico that have been in the works for some time that are really starting to heat up and move forward.

"That's demanding an increasing amount of my time, as well as a number of national initiatives that I work on with the folks at MEC."

Lou Raffetto, the Maryland Jockey Club's chief operating officer and previously De Francis' second-in-command, will report to Gagliano. Raffetto's responsibilities will be "completely unchanged," De Francis said.

Colonial Downs update

After three weeks of racing at Colonial Downs in Virginia, Ryan Fogelsonger has a wide lead in the jockey standings. With victories on 14 of 15 racing days, Fogelsonger tops the standings with 30 victories in 110 starts, and his mounts have earned more than $504,000.

Horacio Karamanos and Chris Van Hassel are tied for second with 13 wins apiece.

In the trainer's race, Hamilton Smith and Jonathan Sheppard are one ahead of Phil Shoenthal with eight triumphs each.

Sheppard, one of America's leading turf conditioners, has earned the most money, with more than $147,000.

Live action resumes today at Colonial, which operates on a Friday-through-Tuesday schedule. The Maryland Jockey Club oversees the meeting.

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