Corey Johnsen, who led the development of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, has resigned as president of Magna Entertainment Corp. southern operations to join a group of private investors that is in the process of acquiring controlling interest of another North American racetrack.
"It has been an honor to lead such a talented and dedicated group of people who collectively attained goals that very few thought were possible," said Johnsen, who was Lone Star Park's first employee. "The last 13 years of my professional career with Lone Star Park and Magna Entertainment have been a great ride. I have the utmost appreciation and respect for Frank Stronach and MEC and I'm confident they will continue to do great work in horse racing."
Johnsen said he could not reveal the name or location of the track until the deal closes in the Spring. He did say the track was not located in Texas, nor was it in a state where MEC operates a racetrack.
Johnsen was named Lone Star Park's vice-president and general manager in February 1994 while construction of the facility was in development and served in that capacity until his promotion to president in 2000. Last August, Johnsen was named president of MEC southern operations where he was responsible for Lone Star Park, Remington Park, and MEC governmental activities in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the operating agreement with Uruguay's national racetrack Maroñas.
"Corey made numerous contributions to MEC," said Frank Stronach, MEC Chairman and interim chief executive officer. "He led the efforts to bring the Breeders' Cup World Championships to Lone Star Park in 2004, helped pass legislation that allowed gaming at Remington Park, and furthered relationships with our partners in South America. We wish him well in the future."
Johnsen's responsibilities will be absorbed by MEC Corporate and the Lone Star Park and Remington Park executive management teams when he departs Feb. 9.
In mid-March, Johnsen also will conclude a two-year term as president of Thoroughbred Racing Associations, the industry trade organization that represents a majority of racetracks in North America.