WASHINGTON - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday signed into law emergency legislation that authorizes a state authority to issue bonds to purchase the rights to the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown series, from its bankrupt owner.

The law gives the Maryland Economic Development Corp. the authority to sell revenue bonds to finance the purchase of horse-racing assets located in Maryland that are owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., a Canadian company, which filed for bankruptcy protection on March 5.

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