Tom Durkin is retiring after a 24 year long career as Saratoga County’s favorite race track announcer. Durkin thrills horse racing fans with his exciting and unique style. The last race he calls will be held on August 31, 2014.
After a 43 year long career announcing horse races, Tom Durkin will be calling his last race on August 31, 2014, at Saratoga Race Course.
Of those 43 years, he has spent 24 announcing for the New York Racing Association, Inc., at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course. Race track goers appreciate the thrilling style in which he announces and the excitement that he inspires into each race.
Durkin began his career in the summer of 1971 at county fairs in Wisconsin. Since then, he has announced races at more than 50 tracks in six different countries. The most notable tracks include the Hialeah Race Course starting in 1981, the Breeders’ Cup since its inception in 1984 through 2005, and the Triple Crown Race from 2001 to 2011. One of his most famous calls was for the 2007 Belmont Stakes between filly Rags to Riches and colt Curlin:
“And at the top of the stretch, a filly is in front at the Belmont! But Curlin is right there with her! These two, in a battle of the sexes in the Belmont Stakes! It is Curlin on the inside! Rags to Riches on the outside! A desperate finish! Rags to Riches and Curlin! They’re coming down to the wire! It’s going to be very close! And it’s going to be…A FILLY IN THE BELMONT! Rags to Riches has beaten Curlin and a hundred years of Belmont history!”
Fondly known as “the voice of NYRA,” Durkin thanked the association and his fans for their support as he called various races at multiple prestigious locations. He sums up his career thusly:
“It’s been exciting. And just as importantly, it’s been fun.”
Before Durkin retires, don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet this legendary announcer and watch the races from the announcer’s booth as Durkin calls the third race on each day’s card. Take up to five friends and share the thrills of horse racing with Durkin! Reservations are $100 per person and 100% of the proceeds benefit New York’s Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.). Fans will be in the thick of the racing excitement, get a great view of the track and contribute to a great cause!