Saltzman to Retire as Calder Race Caller

(from Calder report)
Calder Race Course track announcer Phil Saltzman announced Saturday that 2004 will be the final year that he calls the races at the Miami track. Saltzman, 67, will retire from the Calder announcer's booth after calling the action there for 21 years.

He has also called races at Gulfstream Park, Hialeah Park and Ocala's Day of Champions.

Beginning with the 2005 Calder meet, the microphone will be handed to Bobby Neuman, currently Calder's paddock and television replay show host, as well as back-up announcer.

"Calder runs through my veins," said Saltzman. "But at the end of this year, I estimate that I will have called over 40,000 races throughout my career. It's a very stressful occupation and I feel that I've reached the point that it's time to hang up the microphone. I've really enjoyed my years of being the 'voice of Calder'."

Saltzman, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., got his start in the business in 1974 as one of the featured handicappers of the old Miami News' "Green Sheet," a popular racing publication at the time. Later, he became the "resident handicapper" on the Larry King Show on Miami radio station WIOD.

Two years later, Saltzman hosted his own sports recap show on WINZ. In 1978, he was hired by the racing publication Sports Eye as trackman for South Florida racing. From 1978 to 1984, while working for Sports Eye, Saltzman served as a back-up announcer for the three South Florida racetracks. In 1984, Calder's announcer Bob Savage resigned to pursue other business interests and a search for a new track announcer began. Kenny Noe, Jr., president of Calder at the time, hired Saltzman for the job.

Saltzman will complete the current 2004 Calder meet, which began on April 26 and runs through Oct. 23. He will continue throughout the Tropical at Calder meet from Oct. 23 through Jan. 2, 2005.

Prior to coming to Calder in 1999, Neuman had been the announcer and television host at Thistledown in Cleveland, Ohio for three years. Neuman will also continue his duties as replay show host in 2005.