Emerald Downs announced Nov. 17 that Tom Harris will be track's new full-time announcer.
Harris, who begin his announcing duties April 22, will be only the third announcer in the track's 21-year history.
"Announcing horse races (has) been a lifelong passion for me, and the opportunity to announce at Emerald Downs is a dream come true," Harris said. "I have enormous respect for the tradition of the sport in the Pacific Northwest and the many fine horsemen and horsewomen in the area. I can't wait to get started."
Harris, a 55-year-old Dallas native, has extensive race-calling experience. Currently the announcer at Portland Meadows, Harris also has announced races at Sam Houston Race Park, Retama Park, Playfair Race Course, Yakima Meadows, Zia Park, San Juan Downs, Albuquerque Downs, Yellowstone Downs, Garden State Park, and La Mesa Park. He worked last season for Emerald Downs in the broadcast and promotions departments, and called several races during closing week.
"Tom Harris is a familiar voice to Washington race fans from his days at Yakima Meadows and also familiar to race fans around the country," said Emerald Downs president Phil Ziegler. "Tom has extensive experience in the announcer's booth, and we're fortunate that he's already part of our team. This will make for a seamless transition."
In addition to horse racing, Harris also has broadcast Continental Basketball Association games, worked as a television sports director and producer in the Midwest, and spent nine years as public address announcer for the Chicago Cubs during spring training. Horse racing, however, remains his favorite pastime.
"No two races are the same, and each brings a new challenge and a new thrill," Harris said. "I will always enjoy this exciting ride that life has allowed me."