The funeral service for popular track announcer Luke Kruytbosch, the “Voice of the Kentucky Derby” since 1999, will be held in Churchill Downs’ paddock garden on Monday, July 21, at 1 p.m. EDT.
Kruytbosch passed away in his sleep in Evansville, Ind. after calling the races July 13, at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. The cause of death was likely coronary-related, according to the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office. He was 47.
Kruytbosch’s remains were cremated July 17 and his ashes will be spread at Churchill Downs, which, according to friends, was Kruytbosch’s wish. Monday’s service will be open to the public and guests should enter the facility through Gate 17 adjacent to the paddock. (Note: The service may be moved indoors to the Triple Crown Room on the fifth floor of the Jockey Club Suites if there is inclement weather).
Kruytbosch (pronounced KRITE-boss) was only the fifth track announcer in the 134-year history of Churchill Downs. He joined the legendary racetrack at the start of the 1999 spring meet and his first call of the Kentucky Derby came in the 125th renewal won by Charismatic. He called 10 consecutive runnings of America’s greatest race, including this year’s victory by Big Brown.
In addition to Churchill Downs and Ellis Park, Kruytbosch was the announcer for Turf Paradise in Phoenix and Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky.
Born May 27, 1961 in Moscow, Idaho, Kruytbosch is survived by his father Carlos, sister Carla and brother-in-law Roger Kirkpatrick.
In lieu of flowers, family and friends have requested that a donation be made in Kruytbosch’s honor to either the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy (9013 Lyneve Drive, Louisville, KY 40272) or Race Track Chaplaincy of America (P.O. Box 91640, Los Angeles, CA 90009).