The Baltimore Sun is reporting here that Magna Entertainment, parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, may relieve MJC president and general manager Chris Dragone of his duties.
If so, it would be the second time in less than eight months that the MJC had changed leaders. Magna gave Lou Raffetto the boot in November.
During Raffetto’s tenure, the MJC had largely been protected from the storms that frequently blow through Magna. That appears no longer to be the case.
I don’t have much of an opinion on Dragone one way or the other; he’s hardly been on the job long enough to make much of a splash. But the management-by-firing method that seems prevalent at Magna is, as the saying goes, no way to run a railroad.
Just about a month ago, I had predicted (here) that Mr. Dragone, who had seemingly questioned corporate headquarters, might soon find himself in the unemployment line — the apparent fate of those who question at Magna. While usually I like to celebrate when I’m right about something — pretty much anything, actually — I take no joy from the possiblity that this prediction may prove prescient.
We’re less than six months from a slots referendum in Maryland, upon which hinges (in large measure) the fate of Maryland racing as we know it. Not exactly the ideal time for a shakeup at the MJC.