06/07/2007 12:00AM

Magna sells San Luis Rey Downs


San Luis Rey Downs, the year-round training center in Bonsall, Calif., will likely close within the next three years, according to its owner, Magna Entertainment Corp., which on Thursday announced an agreement to sell the property to its parent company.

Magna sold the 205-acre property, with 500 stalls, to a subsidiary of Magna's parent company, MI Developments, for cash consideration of $24 million, which will be used to repay a portion of its debt to the parent. Under the sale agreement, Magna will lease the property for the next three years while MI Developments obtains local permits to develop it.

Approximately 40 Southern California trainers pay stall rent to be based at San Luis Rey Downs, approximately 40 miles northeast of San Diego. From the training center, horsemen can ship to all four of Southern California's main Thoroughbred tracks.

Magna officials had not returned phone calls by early Thursday afternoon.

Magna, which owns Santa Anita Park in Southern California, has lost approximately $400 million over the past four years. Magna said in a release that San Luis Rey Downs had a book value of $6.2 million before the sale.