Churchill Downs announced in a press release Thursday that veteran race caller Larry Collmus will replace Mark Johnson as Track Announcer for Churchill Downs beginning with its upcoming spring meet. Collmus will make his first call in the new position when the track opens its spring meet Saturday night, Apr. 26. He becomes only the seventh race caller at the historic race track.
Collmus has a voice not unknown to horse racing fans. Collmus called the 2009 Haskell Invitational (G1) when the filly and Kentucky Oaks winner, Rachel Alexandra, romped to a six-length victory over Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird. He also called a 2010 claiming race at Monmouth Park in New Jersey between Mywifenosevrything and Mywifedoesntknow that became an internet sensation and landed Collmus on the CBS Early Show and Inside Edition.
In addition to calling the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup, for NBC Sports’ TV broadcasts since 2009, Collmus has been the track announcer at various race tracks across the country for nearly 30 years. He most-recently has performed as the race caller for Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ and Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. Collmus becomes the first announcer to come to Churchill Downs with previous experience calling the Kentucky Derby.
"I am both thrilled and honored to become the voice of America's most famous race track," Collmus said. "Having called the Kentucky Derby three times for NBC Sports, I have experienced the magical ambience of Derby Day, and can't wait to be a part of that for Churchill Downs. I am looking forward also to becoming a part of this terrific city, which has an incredible passion for our sport.
"Although Churchill Downs is best known for the greatest two minutes in sports, it's an amazing venue for great racing in the spring, September and fall, and I'm excited about calling those races as well. I am very happy to continue my roles as the voice of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup for NBC Sports, as well as calling the races during Gulfstream Park's winter championship meet."