On Monday, February 28, Penn National Gaming completed its transaction to purchase Rosecroft Raceway, thus completing the track’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan which called for the sale of substantially all of the assets of
Cloverleaf Enterprises Incorporated, which includes Rosecroft Raceway.
United States District Judge Paul Mannes ruled on February 2, 2011 that Penn National Gaming had offered the best and highest offer for Rosecroft, and entered the sale order from the court on February 11, 2011 which allowed Penn National Gaming to complete the transaction.
Kelley Rogers, president of Cloverleaf Enterprises stated, “We are very pleased that our reorganization is complete. The sales process was fair and open. Any bidder who wished to compete had the opportunity to make the highest and best bid. We thank and commend our trustee, Jim Murphy, for conducting a well-managed process and auction.”
Rogers continued, “Penn National has proven their commitment to preserving harness racing in Maryland. We have faced tremendous challenges over the past three years and we finally have a strong partner who will work with us to provide a bright future for our industry. They will work well [with] the horsemen, community and legislature. We still have a lot of work in front of us, but I am confident in our outstanding group of legislators from the 26th District and I am confident in Penn National. Rosecroft needs help from the legislature to survive and thrive. I am confident the industry, history, and jobs will be preserved through the leadership of our legislators.”
“We are totally focused on live racing at Rosecroft. That is what matters most to the horsemen and harness racing industry. We are looking forward to resuming live racing in the late fall for 20 to 22 days this year and then expanding the days in 2012. Our goal is to build a year-round harness racing schedule in Maryland working with Ocean Downs."
(With files from the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association)
In addition to the release regarding the finalization of Penn National's Rosecroft purchase, the CSOA also sent an open letter to its members, which appears below.
To: Cloverleaf Members
From: Kelley Rogers, President CEI
Date: February 28, 2011
RE: Sale of Rosecroft
I am very pleased and very excited to report to you that Penn National Gaming closed on their sales contract to purchase our Racetrack. Rosecroft is sold!
This may be the happiest I have been in two years and I can assure you that I consider this to be the best letter I have written you in sometime.
We signed the documents and Penn National wired the money slightly after 9:00 a.m. this morning. CSOA was represented at the signing by Sharon Roberts and Gina Maybee.
We still have numerous details to attend to close our bankruptcy but this was the most important step in the process. I will now be working daily with our trustee Jim Murphy to complete the process. There is much to do in this regard but I am confident we can get it done in an expeditious manner.
I will be working with Penn National through this transition process and I am pleased to report to you that our two Vice Presidents Lisa White and Lisa Watts will be continuing in their respective roles with Penn National effective March 1, 2011.
Most immediately, we will begin to deal with various issues concerning the facility and getting ready for a live racing schedule for this fall. Though we will have a short meet this fall it will lead into an expanded meet in 2012. Eventually we are hopeful to establish a Maryland circuit utilizing our days at Rosecroft and our days at Ocean Downs to reestablish year round racing in Maryland.
Please be patient as we work through all of this. Our priority is live racing first and foremost.
Cloverleaf will be invaluable to us throughout this process. They work very hard on behalf of our horsemen. My thanks go out to President Cooke, Sharon, Gina and our entire Cloverleaf Board of Directors. Special thanks again to our CEI Board members. They have worked steadfastly during difficult times. Our Trustee, Jim Murphy stood with me in protecting live racing through this process and we all should be appreciative of his efforts.
We still have work to do in the legislature and to complete the necessary agreements restoring full simulcasting at our facility. This work is immediate and on-going. I will keep you posted on our progress and will need to call on Cloverleaf for your help along the way.
We have turned a corner. It has been difficult but we did the right thing, made the right decisions and now I am looking forward to the benefit of our hard work---the return of live racing at Rosecroft. I am looking forward to seeing you all soon!