SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Launching a new era for horseplayers and racing fans around the world, New York Racing Association CEO and President Chris Kay announced the appointment of Larry Collmus as the organization’s next race caller. The voice of the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup for NBC Sports, Collmus will be succeeding Tom Durkin in this important role.
“The New York Racing Association was privileged to have one of the greatest voices in professional sports calling our races for more than two decades. With our addition of Larry Collmus, we have another,” said Kay. “Larry’s highly acclaimed work for NBC Sports, including with the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup has inspired excitement and generated lasting memories for horseplayers and racing fans everywhere. We are fortunate that Larry has chosen to bring his talents and passion back to New York, and I would like to extend a warm welcome on behalf of the men and women of this great organization.”
Starting in April 2015, Collmus will assume his duties during the final month of the Aqueduct Racetrack spring meet. He will continue during the Belmont Park spring and fall meets, and the prestigious summer meet at Saratoga Race Course.
“I am so excited and honored to become the next voice of New York racing,” said Collmus. “The racing in New York is second to none – Belmont Park has such a rich history of championship racing and Saratoga has the best racing in the world and an atmosphere unlike any another place. I have some enormous shoes to fill as Tom Durkin raised the bar of our profession very high over the course of his brilliant career with The New York Racing Association.”
Collmus, 47, has been long admired and is highly respected for his work on the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup for NBC Sports. He also calls races during the winter months at Gulfstream Park. Collmus will continue in both roles, but will be leaving his current position at Churchill Downs to move into his new role.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Churchill Downs who treated me very well during my brief time there,” Collmus added. “I am trading one dream job for another. I’m also very happy that The New York Racing Association is also giving me the opportunity to continue my work at NBC and to call the winter at Gulfstream.”
Durkin, who has been bringing his special brand of excitement to the New York racing circuit since 1990, announced earlier this year he will call his last race at Saratoga Race Course on August 31, bringing an extraordinary 43-year career to a close. The New York Racing Association will devote much of Sunday the 31st in Saratoga to honoring Durkin.
“I would like to congratulate Larry and wish him the very best,” said Durkin. “It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the loyal racing fans of New York for all of these years. I am confident that Larry will find New York racing as exciting and rewarding as I did.”
Collmus’s race calling career includes the following:
• 1985: Called his first race at Bowie Race Course at age 18
• 1987: Birmingham Turf Club
• 1988-91: Golden Gate Fields
• 1992-2008: Suffolk Downs
• 1994-2013: Monmouth Park
• 2005-06: Aqueduct Racetrack
• 2007-present: Gulfstream Park
• 2011-present: Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes for NBC Sports
• 2012-present: Breeders’ Cup for NBC Sports
• 2014: Churchill Downs
Collmus received nationwide attention in 2010 when he called a race at Monmouth Park which involved two horses named Mywifenoseverything and Thewifedoesntknow. When the two horses finished first and second in the race, his call went viral with more than 1 million views on Youtube. He was asked to guest on several shows including the CBS Early Show and Inside Edition.
John Imbriale, Director of TV Production for The New York Racing Association, will call the 2014 Belmont fall meet and will continue to serve as the main race caller at Aqueduct Racetrack, with the exception of the month of April. Imbriale has been calling races at Aqueduct for more than 15 years.