I have been a track announcer for over twelve years now and I have had good moments and bad moments behind the microphone, as anyone who speaks for a living will understand. Most public speakers, however, have a hard time grasping how hard calling a race accurately and correctly really is. Now, a professional announcer might make it seem smooth, but there is quite a bit that goes into it.
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay called the eighth race at Saratoga on Sunday. Flay called the race as part of the festivities for the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing, which leads up to the Saratoga Yearling Sale that started today. Flay apparently did a good enough job of calling the action, but NYRA track announcer Tom Durkin summed it up best with his quote, "Thank you, Bobby, and thank goodness you know how to cook a souffle." The result of the weekend will be an $11,000 charitable donation to equine charities by Fasig-Tipton and a $5,000 donation to the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund by NYRA. These donations will be made in the names of trainers and jockeys who earned points in a competition over the weekend.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!