Jonathan Horowitz is the new track announcer at Turf Paradise racetrack, succeeding Michael Chamberlain, who has been named the announcer at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana.
Chamberlain has been the announcer at the Phoenix, Ariz., track since 2008 after an 11-year stint in that capacity at Sam Houston Race Park.
"I would like to say a sincere 'thank you' to the management, my co-workers, the horsemen, and all the fans at Turf Paradise," Chamberlain said in a Turf Paradise release. "Six years went by so fast, but I loved every minute of it. Whatever the future may hold, I will always take pride in saying I was the announcer at Turf Paradise. It is a special group of people that work here and I will miss everyone."
Horowitz and Chamberlain have been friends for several years. Horowitz served as guest announcer at Turf on several occasions and called his first Thoroughbred race at Turf Paradise in February 2000 as a guest announcer when he was 14. As a teen, Horowitz practiced announcing at the track while sitting in the stands; the track announcer at the time overheard him and management decided to let him call a race, according to the release.
Horowitz continued to practice and after getting his master's degree, he went on to call races professionally at Arapahoe Park and Zia Park.
"This is certainly a bittersweet changing of the guard," Turf Paradise general manager Vince Francia said in a statement. "We welcome Johnathan to the Turf family as we say goodbye to our good friend Michael Chamberlain."
Turf Paradise opened its doors Jan. 7, 1956, making history as the first organized professional sports franchise in Arizona.