Oct 1st 2009 12:52 am |
As crazy as that might sound, millionaire Halsey Minor, who made a bid last year to purchase and re-open Hialeah, left this comment on my recent post about Havre de Grace:
“If I win MJC [Maryland Jockey Club properties] in November I am going to rebuild Havre De Grace. I have done a ton of work on its feasibility for a short Saratoga like meet.”
“Keep the faith. I am battling Stronach hard on MJC. I am half Maryland (mom) and half Virginia (dad) and all thoroughbred racing.” Link to original comment
How serious is this? It’s hard to say. Recent rumors and reports about Minor’s finances had some questioning whether he had the cash to pull off his plans to own racetracks. His bid to purchase Hialeah fell through last year and he withdrew a bid for Magna in August calling the process “unprofessional”.
Minor’s style has been known to turn people off and he is frequently referred to as “brash.”
Whatever the case might be, I would love to see Halsey Minor get his hands on the Maryland tracks and it would be a dream to see Havre de Grace rebuilt. I heard the rumor about Minor’s plans for Havre de Grace from someone at Delaware Park a few months ago. I didn’t think much of it at the time and wrote it off as track chatter. It is evident now that the rumor is indeed true. I understand why many have taken a wait and see approach with Minor since – to date – we have seen lots of talk but no action. However, I think it is too soon to write him off.
If I made my living in the Thoroughbred industry (which I don’t), I would do everything I could to assist Minor in getting an opportunity at track ownership. Racing needs more track owners in the tradition of Alfred Vanderbilt and Joseph Widener who were sportsmen and caretakers not simply stockholders. Minor has made his fortune and his motivation for owning a track does not appear to be purely profit driven (we saw how that worked out for Magna). Minor’s passion for racing is well known and it would be fascinating to see the impact he could have on a moribund industry.
One last thing…you’ll never guess who won the 5th at Delaware Park today? A two-year-old filly named Havre de Grace