‘More Time Putting Out Fires Than Promoting’: Johnston Determined To Restore Penn National’s Reputation

by | 05.19.2016 | 9:14am
Penn National Racecourse

Penn National Race Course has been mired in scandal over the past few years, as 10 people – four trainers, four veterinarians, a racing official and a clocker – were arrested and charged with race fixing. Other incidents such as horses testing positive for drug overages, etc., have further tarnished the racetrack's reputation.

Eric Johnston, the director of racing at Penn National, has been working diligently to restore the facility's reputation with horsemen and racing fans. However, as he told Penn Live recently in an interview, it hasn't been easy.

“I spend more time putting out fires than promoting,” Johnston said.

Next month, the last of the people charged in the race-fixing case, former trainer Murray Rojas, is scheduled to go to trial. According to Penn Live, Rojas was indicted on charges of “wire fraud and conspiracy of conduct” related to 11 races in early 2013.

Johnston is hopeful that Penn National can put all of that in the past and move on, but knows it won't be easy to regain the trust of the public.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people here are trying to do the right thing,” Johnston said, “but there's always one asshole in every crowd.”

Read more at Penn Live

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