It was announced today that Terry Wallace, the longtime voice of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, will be retiring from the announcer's booth for the 2012 season. Wallace has been the voice at Oaklawn for 37 consecutive years and only sat out his first race at the track during this past spring season. Think about that for longevity and consistency. Wallace called 20,191 consecutive races at Oaklawn Park, ending the tremendous streak on January 28, 2011. For many racing fans at that track, his is the only announcer's voice that they have ever known.
Wallace is a certified legend in two states as far as racecalling goes. In Arkansas, the Mayor of Hot Springs declared it Terry Wallace Day when he hit 20,000 consecutive calls. He also has been honored as the official voice of Arkansas and this year was declared "Man Of The Year" by the Arkansas HBPA. In Nebraska, Wallace was the longtime voice at the AkSarBen racetrack in Omaha and still calls the races at the newer track in Omaha, Horsemen's Park, which runs an annual four-day race meeting. I had the opportunity to work with Terry for part of the 2010 season at Horsemen's Park and enjoyed it thoroughly.
I would like to wish Terry Wallace all the best in his retirement from Oaklawn and certainly hope that he will get to enjoy many more days at the races as just a fan, since I am sure he has been a fan of the races for even longer than he has been an announcer and ambassador for the sport.
Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!