Horse Racing Announcer Tom Durkin To Sit Out Triple Crown Races This Year
Tom Durkin, the "signature voice of American horse racing, will not call the Kentucky Derby or any other Triple Crown race this spring," as he announced yesterday that he is "not renewing his contract with NBC Sports," according to Joe Drape of the N.Y. TIMES. Durkin, who has called the Kentucky Derby 13 times and is "known for his ebullient and authoritative narration," said that he "made the decision after a year of reflection about the increasing performance anxiety he felt leading to the Derby" in '10. Durkin added that his "mental health was more important than his participation" in the broadcasts (N.Y. TIMES, 4/27). DAILY RACING FORM's David Grening noted NBC "has not officially announced a replacement for Durkin, though speculation centers" on Gulfstream Park and Monmouth Park track announcer Larry Collmus. Durkin "has called the last 30 Triple Crown races on network television." He will "continue to work as the announcer" at NYRA's three tracks -- Aqueduct Race Track, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Track, as he is "under contract with NYRA through the fall of 2015." NBC (DRF.com, 4/26).