Magna Entertainment Corp., owner of Santa Anita Park, got the go-ahead from a bankruptcy judge to sell the famous horse-racing venue in Arcadia, setting the stage for an auction in September, it was reported Tuesday.
The decision by a federal judge in Delaware Monday supports Magna's previously announced plans to sell some of its racetracks and other assets to pay down debt, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Canada-based Magna filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March after defaulting on conditions of a bank loan. Santa Anita is in its off-season, but racing will begin again in October, Ron Charles, president of the track and an officer of Magna, told The Times.
Monday's court decision says potential buyers for Santa Anita and other Magna tracks must declare their interest by May 27 and submit bids by July 31. New owners would be selected through an auction in New York on Sept. 8.
The other Magna racetracks approved for sale are Remington Park in Oklahoma, Thistledown in Ohio and Portland Meadows in Oregon, along with Magna's interest in Lone Star Park in Texas, according to The Times.
Charles told the Pasadena Star-News that he expects Magna to get a good bid for the property.
"It's a really prime piece of property," he said. "They are going to expect, and I think they are going to get, a good price."
He said he expected the next owner would be committed to maintaining the property as it is.
The southern 85 acres of the 300-acre track property are zoned for commercial development and are tied up by Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso. He plans to build a large-scale retail center on the site.