01/29/2003 12:00AM

Magna looks to Pennsylvania

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Magna Entertainment Corp. has filed an application to receive a Thoroughbred racing license in Pennsylvania, a state that is expected to strongly consider legalizing slot machines at racetracks this year.

Magna's proposed new track would be in Findlay Township, approximately 18 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, Magna said in a release. Magna already owns and operates a Pennsylvania harness racetrack, The Meadows. A Magna spokeswoman, Sue Floyd, said Wednesday that Magna was preparing site plans and other details about the track, but those details were not available yet.

Pennsylvania's governor, Ed Rendell, has said that he supports legalizing slots at racetracks as a way of raising money for education in the state. Pennsylvania, like many states, is facing a significant budget deficit

Support for slots has produced a flurry of racing applications in the past three months. Groups have filed applications with the racing commission to build new tracks in Philadelphia and its suburbs and in Erie, Pa.

Rendell told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he was scheduled to meet on Wednesday with the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission, which can award only two more harness licenses, to urge the commission to have patience when reviewing the applications.