John Bothe, the former Meadowlands track announcer who made national headlines when he filed a discrimination suit against the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in 1999, has been hired by The Red Mile in Lexington to call the second portion of the harness track's spring meet.
The suit, by which Bothe claimed NJSEA officials denied him a tolerable work environment, raised the question of whether compulsive gambling qualified as an addition under New Jersey law. Bothe and the NJSEA later settled the lawsuit, and since that time he has called Thoroughbred races at Prescott Downs in Arizona, and filled in at Monticello Raceway, a New York harness track. He also has done weather forecasts on New York radio.
Bothe was quite popular with patrons at The Meadowlands, where he called the Hambletonian, harness racing's top trotting event, from 1991 to 1998. One of his trademarks is the phrase "zooming by," which he uses when horses rally late on the outside in the stretch to get up in time at the wire.
"One of my most unforgettable race calls was when Jenna's Beach Boy won at The Meadowlands in 1:47.3/5," Bothe said. "That is still the fastest (Standardbred) race mile of all-time."
Mel Smith will call the first part of the spring meet, which begins April 27. Earlier this year, The Red Mile announced that Sam McKee, who currently shares the harness announcer's job at The Meadowlands, would call the track's fall Grand Circuit meet.