Eric Johnston to Penn National

Eric Johnston accepts position as director of racing operations for Penn National.

Press Release

Long-time Sam Houston employee Eric Johnston moves to Penn National.

Eric Johnston, currently vice president of racing/racing secretary at Sam Houston Race Park and an AQHA Racing Committee member, has been named director of racing operations for Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

Johnston is a native of Grantville, Pennsylvania, where Penn National is located, and began his racing official's career at the track in 1983 and also served as a racing official in the state of Maryland for five years. He joined Sam Houston Race Park when it opened in 1994 as stakes coordinator and was soon promoted to director of racing and racing secretary. In addition to his racing office responsibilities Johnston also had management oversight for the pari-mutuel, simulcast, and player services departments at Sam Houston. For the past three seasons Johnston also has served as director of racing at Fort Erie Race Course in Canada.

Penn National Gaming Inc., parent company of Penn National Race Course, entered into a joint venture ownership agreement with Maxxam, the parent company of Sam Houston Race Park, in 2011.

"Eric brings a strong foundation of both racing and management experience to this position. He has had to be creative in recent years at Sam Houston due to the intense regional racing competition but the program is always one of the more highly regarded in the country," said Christopher McErlean, vice president of racing for Penn National Gaming, Inc. "In addition, Eric knows the Mid Atlantic region and is passionate about racing — a great combination to help Penn National going into the future."

"I am extremely excited about this next chapter in my racing career," said Johnston. "While it will be difficult to leave Sam Houston after 20 years, I am looking forward to working with the talented staff at Penn National and helping to elevate a great racing product to the next level."

 Johnston, is scheduled to begin his duties at Penn National in early April.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information,
follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit