Marshall Cassidy, the voice of racing in New York from 1979 to 1990, will return to the announcer's booth, this time at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz. Cassidy has been retired as a race-caller since the end of the Saratoga meet in 1990. He worked for Equibase before retiring in 1996. He will call the races at Turf Paradise beginning Oct. 25 through Nov. 2.
Luke Kruytbosch, the regular caller at Turf Paradise, also calls the races at Churchill Downs and will be in Louisville, Ky. for their fall meeting that begins Oct. 27. He will return to Phoenix Dec. 1. Following Cassidy's one-week stint, Jim McCauley, a Phoenix resident and race-caller at Ruidoso Downs, will fill in.
Cassidy, long known for his cool, even style of calling and his famous "in front" finish has never been to Turf Paradise and has only been to Phoenix once. "That was take my physical when I joined the Air Force in 1963," he said from his home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Cassidy was coaxed out of retirement by Kruybosch. "A couple of years ago, after my first Kentucky Derby, he called me to congratulate me on my call," Kruybosch said from Phoenix. "Later, I called him to see if he'd fill in for me, but he couldn't do it. I asked him again this year and he said OK. He said he'd like to dabble in it and he had some free time."
Kruybosch said Turf Paradise general manager Randy Fozzard likes to get high-profile callers to fill in while Krybosch is in Kentucky. Other callers to fill the gaps have been John Dooley from Illinois and Frank Miramadi from Northern California. Fozzard hadn't heard of Cassidy, but Kruybosch went online and downloaded some of Cassidy's famous calls for Fozzard.
Cassidy, who will fly to Phoenix Oct. 24 and head straight to the track said he has "been practicing in my mind," for his return.
The Turf Paradise meet runs through May 18.