05/08/2003 12:00AM

Magna tells of Maryland plan


Magna Entertainment Corp., majority owner of the Maryland Jockey Club, unveiled on Wednesday the first phase of a plan to rebuild Pimlico and Laurel Park from the ground up - grandstands, racing surfaces and stable areas.

Jim McAlpine, president of Magna, said at a Maryland Racing Commission meeting that the initial phase will cost $46 million and include building new stables and a training track at Laurel. That will be completed by December 2005, he said.

After that, McAlpine said, the racing surfaces and grandstand will be rebuilt at Laurel. Magna will similarly overhaul Pimlico following the Laurel renovations, he said.

McAlpine said Magna is committed to rebuilding the tracks with or without slot machines.

"If slots don't come, this stands," McAlpine said of the long-range plan. "If they do come, that accelerates the process."