03/04/2003 1:00AM

McCarron to join Magna


Chris McCarron, the retired Hall of Fame jockey, has been hired for a high-ranking position at Magna Entertainment, California racing officials said on Tuesday.

It was unclear Tuesday what position McCarron would take, but the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that McCarron had taken a management job at Santa Anita Park, effective at the end of March. McCarron retired last June after a 28-year riding career, during which he held several industry positions with management ties.

McCarron, 47, declined to comment on Tuesday. Jim McAlpine, Magna's chief executive officer, and Jack Liebau, Magna's director of California operations, did not return phone calls.

McCarron retired in June 2002 with 7,141 wins, sixth on the career list, and $264.4 million in earnings, best of all time. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.

From 1996 until early 2002, McCarron was the corporate spokesman and a product advisor for Youbet.com, the online wagering company. McCarron has also played pivotal roles at the Jockeys' Guild, which provides insurance and other benefits for riders.