Magna's racing VP resigns, cites family

Horse Racing

July 23, 2008|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Reporter

Magna Entertainment Corp. executive vice president of racing Scott Borgemenke, who during the Preakness voiced his concern about the nonstop travel required for the job he took earlier last spring, has left the company.

Borgemenke's departure became official July 18, though it was not announced until late Monday.

"Unfortunately," Borgemenke said in a statement explaining his decision, "... my corporate and family responsibilities conflict."

MEC chairman Frank Stronach, who is in Austria, praised Borgemenke's work at MEC in a release, saying, "We very much appreciate his efforts, and we wish him well."

Maryland Racing Commission chairman John Franzone was not surprised by Borgemenke's decision.

"I thought it would be a difficult situation for him," Franzone said. "He was traveling like a maniac. But I don't think his departure will impact Maryland racing because Tom [Chuckas, Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer] was already reporting to Ron Charles at Santa Anita."

Charles is the president of the Los Angeles Turf Club and has been a member of the MEC management committee since 2004.

In other news, The Jockey Club said yesterday that its new Equine Injury Database system is up and running, providing the industry with its first national online database of racing injuries.

The move is the next step on the path toward greater equine safety.

Shortly after a catastrophic leg injury led to the death of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, Dr. Mary Scollay and Dr. Rick Arthur advanced a pilot program that compiled more than 3,000 injury reports.

While scientific study of the information is still in the future, Maryland Racing Commission veterinarian David Zipf said, "They've worked hard to get this far, and this is a definite building block for the future.

"To be able to identify the parameters, the things that lead to injury, if we can identify these, then we can eliminate them and thereby limit the number of breakdowns and lessen the amount of catastrophic injuries, which is our goal."

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