John Imbriale, the New York Racing Association's backup track announcer until his retirement in early 2005, will return as Aqueduct's winter announcer in 2007. Imbriale, popular former host of the "Thoroughbred Action" and "Inside Racing" television programs, will begin calling races on Jan. 4 and continue in that role through March 31. He replaces Larry Collmus, who called the last two Aqueduct winter meets was named track announcer at Gulfstream Park in a Friday announcement. Imbriale joined NYRA in 1979 after his uncle noticed a contest for aspiring track announcers in the New York Daily News. Imbriale won, and part of the prize was a job in the NYRA Press Office. Imbriale eventually became liaison for WWOR-TV, home of a weekly Thoroughbred racing program starring the late trainer Frank Wright and Charlsie Cantey. Three years later, Imbriale went to Arlington Park as a replacement for Arlington Park's legendary announcer Phil Georgeff. "I am very excited about working back at Aqueduct," Imbriale said. "I have a lot of fond memories, and I look forward to seeing some old friends."
NYRA's regular track announcer, Tom Durkin, will continue to call races through Jan. 1.