08/13/2004 12:00AM

Magna management loses key personnel

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Despite the defection of several key management officials, Magna Entertainment is running the current Bay Meadows fair meet without a snag.

Bay Meadows general manager Bernie Thurman, Golden Gate Fields general manager Michael Scalzo, and Bay Meadows and Golden Gate racing secretary Tom Doutrich have all resigned from Magna since the Bay Meadows season ended in June.

Peter Tunney, who oversees Magna's operations in northern California, says that Scalzo and Doutrich agreed to help run the fair meeting.

"Both have been very professional about offering to help during the fair," Tunney said. "That helps with a smooth transition."

Magna will name replacements before the Bay Meadows fall meeting begins on Sept. 3.

New Golden Gate project

Magna is planning to develop the northwest parking area at Golden Gate Fields in the city of Albany. The current plan differs from a proposal that was presented last year.

"We have plans filed with the city of Albany for light mixed-use development," Tunney said.

The new proposal would be for a 600,000- to 800,000-square-foot project, including retail, entertainment, and dining establishments.

The new plan, according to Tunney, was developed in response to input from Albany residents at a series of meetings held over the past year to discuss development in the area. He said that additional meetings will be held to discuss the new plans.

"Mr. [Frank] Stronach wants to make it clear we will continue racing at Golden Gate Fields," Tunney said. "We are just looking at development in areas where we have excess land."

Magna sold its south parking lot area to the East Bay Regional Parks District last year to held create a green zone that would include athletic fields beside San Francisco Bay.

Castro sidelined

Jockey Joe Castro will be sidelined four to six weeks after breaking his left collarbone in a training accident at Golden Gate Fields on Wednesday. Castro was injured when the horse he was working broke down.

Turf feature

Seven older turf runners, six of whom have scored victories over the turf here, meet in Sunday's feature at the Bay Meadows Fair, a one-mile $50,000 optional claimer over the turf. Entrymates Rapier Dance, who has been on the sidelines for more than a year, since the 2003 Will Rogers Handicap at Hollywood Park, and Foxlair, an allowance winner over the course in May, appear the ones to beat.