Former trainer and Arkansas racing official Johnnie N. Johnson, 76, died Dec. 2, at his home in Hot Springs, Ark., according to The Sentinel-Record.
At 18, Johnson became a Thoroughbred trainer, following in the footsteps of his father, John, who known as “Pop.” He ran a public stable that operated at Oaklawn, the Kentucky racing circuit, and Arlington Park. One of his best horses was Mary Dugan, a daughter of Time Tested out of Silk Step, by Watch Your Step, who won the Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs and finished third in the Miss Woodford Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park in 1974.
When he left training, Johnson worked several positions as a racing official including patrol judge, paddock judge, identifier and steward at Oaklawn Park and other tracks.
Born in Georgetown, Ky., to John and Frances Blythe Johnson, he is survived by his caretaker, Rae Johnson. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for the Arkansas Chaplaincy, P.O. Box 20564, Hot Springs, AR, 71903. Gross Funeral Home provides an online guestbook and a place to share memories.