Indiana Downs' general manager of racing, Jon Schuster, announced March 26 the appointment of Bill Downes to the position of track announcer, effective immediately. Downes will be the voice behind the upcoming 120-day combined Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet that is set to get underway on April 23. Downes will not only announce all races, but will also host a daily pre-race show and provide handicapping information for each race card at the Shelbyville track.
Downes most recently served as track announcer at Ellis Park and Beulah Park and will use his expansive knowledge of the horse racing industry to deliver original and exciting race calls. The 42-year-old Illinois native, who has called races for Presque Isle Downs, Beulah Park, and River Downs, brings more than 20 years of experience to his new position.
"I am thrilled to be joining the Indiana Downs team as track announcer," Downes said in a release. "It is a tremendous honor to get the opportunity to announce all of the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana. It is refreshing to see a company like Centaur Gaming making significant capital improvements in racing at both of their Indiana racino properties. The quality of racing in Indiana continues to improve year after year and I look forward to complimenting and advancing the racing at Indiana Downs."
The veteran track announcer graduated from Marquette University before beginning his career in race calling in 2001. Also an accomplished handicapper, Downes brings a wealth of handicapping knowledge and experience to his new position.
"Bill will be hosting a pre-race show daily and picking his selections for each race card along with his duties as track announcer," Schuster said in a statement. "Bill has qualified eight times for the finals of the prestigious DRF National Handicapping contest. Bill's proven handicapping skills will not only be a great asset to our team, but to our many race followers locally and across the country."
Indiana Downs will follow a Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday schedule starting April 23. The four-day racing week will have a daily post time of 6 p.m. On July 1, the Shelbyville racetrack will move to five days a week with the addition of a Monday evening racing card and continue racing through Oct. 19.