Stronach tabs two new leaders for Magna Entertainment

Jan 23, 2008 12:08 AM

Industry Insider by Ray Poirier | Multi-millionaire Frank Stronach, chairman and CEO of Magna Entertainment Corp. (MECA), has been a huge success in developing a Canadian-based auto parts company, and in the U.S. as a horse breeder and owner.

In 2007, his Adena Springs breeding operation produced thoroughbreds that won more than $11.6 million in purses while his racing stable banked nearly $6.8 million in earnings, both placing Stronach at the top of the industry’s leaders.

But some six years ago, Stronach formed Magna Entertainment with the goal of acquiring horse tracks, refurbishing or rebuilding them into attractive entertainment centers and providing a return for the company’s shareholders.

Unfortunately, the success he had in selling auto parts and in horse breeding and racing wasn’t repeated by his racetrack acquisitions. Beyond that, his executive office has had a revolving door.

Investors abandoned the company in droves as the share price fell below $1.

Now the company hopes the bad news is all behind it, beginning with the appointment of racing people to the top executive posts.

Taking over as chief operating officer is Ron Charles, a long-time owner and breeder of thoroughbred race horses and a past chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.

And moving in as executive vice president for racing is Scott Borgemenke, an Ohio political power broker and former chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission.

To racing fans, the name Borgemenke recalls the riding exploits of a former jockey, Ralph Borgemenke, who rode at racetracks throughout the country, including Churchill Downs when he participated in the 1956 Kentucky Derby.