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Centaur wins case

Sep 16, 2003 6:15 AM

A cloud over the past of privately held Delaware North Corp. of Buffalo, N.Y., was the reason Indianapolis, Ind., based Centaur Inc. attempted to terminate its contractual agreement involving the purchase of Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland.

But, it took a lawsuit for Centaur to get the green light from the courts to dump the Jacobs Family, owners of Delaware North, as its Rosecroft partner. Forget the fact that Delaware North was going to provide Centaur with the $55 million needed to purchase the harness racing facility.

Now, Centaur has until Nov. 1 to come up with the money. When the plan was put together, there was reasonable hope that Maryland would pass legislation permitting the state’s tracks to install slot machines. Getting funding for such a project would have been a breeze for Centaur. But, when the legislation failed, money dried up and Centaur turned to Delaware North to provide the liquidity needed.

Should Centaur fail to meet the Nov. 1 deadline imposed for licensing by the Maryland Racing Commission, it faces the prospects of not only losing out on the purchase but also losing its $2.5 million deposit.

Still to be heard from is Carl D. Jones, a Prince George asphalt and paving contractor who indicated an interest in joining the partnership of Centaur and Delaware North prior to the court’s recent ruling. And "still hopeful" that some arrangement could be worked out is Delaware North.

Meanwhile, Rosecroft Raceway, owned by the horsemen’s association that races at the track, has been losing money and has indicated that there probably would be no future for the track if slots are not approved.