Announcer Trevor Denman has given voice to Santa Anita

So when is a retirement not really a retirement?

For track announcer Trevor Denman, we were told he is retiring as the voice of Santa Anita Park. That’s true. But then I got a Del Mar press release saying Denman will call the races there in 2016. Thus, he will still be working. Clearly this is not your normal retirement. Certainly not like two other great announcers Tom Durkin in New York or Dan Loiselle in Canada, who retired for good. These three men have all set a standard on the East Coast, in Canada and in Southern California that won’t easily be reached.

Durkin retired from the New York Racing Association at the end of the 2014 Saratoga meet. He began at the NYRA in 1990. Before joining NYRA, Durkin called the best harness racing in the world at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

Durkin’s incredible resume also included the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Cup as well as Gulfstream Park each winter. Thus, for the last three decades his voice is most often heard for this country’s biggest stakes.

Loiselle retired at the end of May after 29 years calling the races at Woodbine. His biggest stakes each year was the Queen’s Plate, the Canadian equivalent of our Kentucky Derby.

When Loiselle was asked what he wanted to do upon retirement, he said he promised his wife Wendy a vacation to Las Vegas. I have a witness, Sportsbook Radio host Brian Blessing, who said he met up with his good friend Loiselle when he came to town.

As for Denman, Santa Anita Park made up for the bulk of his workload. If he calls just the two meets at Del Mar, it will be for about 60 days of racing.

The rest of the time will now be spent by Denman and his wife, Robin, working on their large farm in Minnesota.

Denman is credited with changing the style in which track announcers called races. It’s why he prefers to be called a commentator. No longer were just giving the name of the horse and the margins between animals enough.

Commentary and personality were added to the calls, which helped us enjoy the sport that much more.

The big question now will be who replaces Denman on a permanent basis. When Santa Anita opens on Dec. 26, they will use both Frank Mirahmadi and Michael Wrona to split the duties.

Wrona calls the races at Golden Gate Fields in Northern California. Magna Entertainment owns both Santa Anita and Golden Gate so he is a known commodity. Mirahmadi put all his chips into the center when he resigned his job at Oaklawn Park to purse this opening. Mirahmadi has called at Santa Anita when Denman was not available.

Santa Anita Park intends to conduct an international search for the next track announcer.

When Denman first came to the U.S. from South Africa in 1983, he auditioned at a handful of racetracks. He made the biggest impact on Alan Balch, vice president of marketing at that time at Santa Anita. Balch hired Denman to call the Oak Tree meet that fall.

It’ll be interesting to see who eventually wins the job. To me, calling the races at Santa Anita is still one of the most iconic jobs in our sport.

Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at rich_eng@hotmail.com. Follow him on Twitter: @richeng4propick

ad-high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Basketball Week 15
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Westgate Sports Book Director John Murray.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Basketball Week 14
Adam Hill and Kelly Stewart discuss betting strategies for college basketball.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Super Bowl prop futures
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Super Bowl LII prop futures.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Super Bowl LII prop bets
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Super Bowl LII prop bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Super Bowl LII picks
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Super Bowl LII.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL conference championships
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL’s conference championship games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL divisional playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL divisional playoffs.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football National Championship
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Monday’s college football national championship.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Wild Card playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL’s Wild Card playoff weekend.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 17
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week 17 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week Three
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week three of the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week 2
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview the college football bowls.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 16
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 16 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Bowl Edition
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 15
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for week 15 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and TI sports book director Tony Nevill preview NFL Week 14.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 13
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 13 of the NFL regular season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 14 of the college football season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like