'Voice of Oaklawn' Wallace Retires From Booth

Terry Wallace, who has called the races at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas for 37 consecutive years, will retire from that position but continue serving in other roles, the track announced June 16.

Oaklawn will conduct a search for a new announcer for the 2012 meet.

“After serious consideration in recent weeks, the time has come to end my run as Oaklawn’s track announcer,” Wallace said in a statement. “It is time for a new person to have the same opportunities I’ve been given here.

“While I still have good health, I can continue to be a member of the Oaklawn family in other roles. I’m very thankful for (track owner) Charles Cella, my fellow employees, and the people of my adopted home of Arkansas for the respect and love I’ve been shown through all my terrific years as the ‘Voice of Oaklawn.’ ”

Wallace set a record of 20,000 consecutive race calls following the third race March 25, 2010, and ended his streak after the fourth race Jan. 28, 2011, with 20,191 calls without a miss. On the day he hit 20,000, Hot Springs, Ark., mayor Mike Bush, declared it “Terry Wallace Day,” and Wallace also received congratulatory letters from Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and former President Bill Clinton, who grew up on Hot Springs.

In 2011 Wallace was named the Arkansas Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association “Man of the Year,” and during the most recent Arkansas legislative session, a proclamation was written declaring him the official voice of Arkansas.

“Racing is incredibly popular in Arkansas, and for multiple generations the sound of horse racing and Oaklawn has been Terry Wallace,” Cella said. “His identifiable enthusiasm helped make Oaklawn so popular to millions of fans across America.”