Starting on Santa Anita Park's opening day Dec. 26, two well-known track announcers will share race-calling duties while a search is underway to find a permanent voice for the South California track.
The announcement comes in the wake of Trevor Denman's retirement from Santa Anita earlier this month after 33 years in the announcer's booth.
Frank Mirahmadi, who recently resigned from his position at Oaklawn Park to pursue a shot at his "dream job" as Santa Anita's track announcer, will call opening week at Santa Anita. Golden Gate Fields' longtime announcer Michael Wrona will call Santa Anita's races from Jan. 7 through Jan. 24, which should include the highly anticipated return to the races of 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome in the Jan. 9 San Pasqual Stakes (gr. II).
From there, the two will alternate on a three-week schedule, with Mirahmadi calling the Golden Gate races when Wrona is at Santa Anita. Mirahmadi will call the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on March 12, and Wrona will handle the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 9.
"We are extremely fortunate that both Frank and Michael are available to continue to give our fans a top-quality experience during this transition," said Joe Morris, senior vice president of West Coast operations for The Stronach Group. "Both are so well-respected and have earned strong consideration and wide support for the permanent position. We are excited to hear how our fans will respond to them."
While Mirahmadi and Wrona will share the primary announcing duties for the next few months, Santa Anita's fans also will hear from a number of potential candidates throughout the winter and spring as part of Santa Anita's search for the next "Voice of Santa Anita."
Additional announcers will be brought in throughout the season to audition. Since Santa Anita opened in 1934, the track has had just four primary announcers: Joe Hernandez, Chic Anderson, Dave Johnson, and Denman.