Edited press release
Ellis Park has named Bill Downes as the new permanent live race announcer for the Henderson, Ky. track. Downes, who has called races for Presque Isle Downs, Beulah Park, and River Downs, will replace announcer Luke Kruytbosch, who died in Evansville, Ind., July 14.
An accomplished handicapper, Downes uses his insight to deliver knowledgeable and original calls to race fans. Downes resides in Columbus, Ohio, and is currently announcing at Presque Isle Downs. His first day at Ellis Park will be Aug. 6. An announcer has not yet been named to replace Downes at Presque Isle Downs.
“Bill is an incredible announcer, and we are very pleased to bring such an up and coming young talent to Ellis Park,” said Ron Geary, owner of the track. “Luke was a legend and one of the best announcers in the country. Luke is very difficult to replace, but we feel Bill will be a great addition to the Ellis Park team.”
Kruytbosch mentored Downes throughout his announcing career and helped Downes polish his announcing skills.
Since Kruytbosch’s death, Ellis Park has patched together the meet with substitute announcers. Mike Battaglia from Turfway Park, and Keith Nelson from the Woodlands have both performed intermediate calling duties at Ellis Park this season.
“We were grateful for Mike to come in at the last minute to fill in for us, and we have been very pleased and impressed with Keith,” said Geary.
Ellis Park conducts live Thoroughbred racing Wednesday – Sunday through Labor Day, Sept. 1.