Larry Collmus, who took over the race caller duties at Churchill Downs earlier this year, is moving on to succeed Tom Durkin as the announcer for the New York Racing Association.
Collmus, 47, who calls the Triple Crown races and Breeders' Cup World Championships for NBC Sports, will begin his new position starting in April 2015 during the final month of the Aqueduct Racetrack spring meet. He will continue during the Belmont Park spring and fall meets, and the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course. Collmus will continue to call races during the winter at Gulfstream Park in addition to his new NYRA duties.
"Being the next voice of the @TheNYRA is a dream come true!" Collmus tweeted shortly after the announcement was made.
Collmus earlier this year left his position at Monmouth Park to become the seventh track announcer at Churchill Downs when the spring meet opened this year at the Louisville track, replacing Mark Johnson. Collmus will conclude his brief career at Churchill following this year's September and fall meets.
"Our search for @larrycollmus successor is already underway," the Churchill Downs communications department said in a tweet. "Many talented racecallers with wide range of talent & individual style."
John Imbriale, NYRA's director of TV production, will call the 2014 Belmont fall meet and continue to serve as the main race caller at Aqueduct Racetrack, with the exception of the month of April. Imbriale has been calling races at Aqueduct for more than 15 years.
"The New York Racing Association was privileged to have one of the greatest voices in professional sports calling our races for more than two decades. With our addition of Larry Collmus, we have another," said NYRA president Chris Kay. "Larry's highly acclaimed work for NBC Sports, including with the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup, has inspired excitement and generated lasting memories for horseplayers and racing fans everywhere. We are fortunate that Larry has chosen to bring his talents and passion back to New York, and I would like to extend a warm welcome on behalf of the men and women of this great organization."
"I am so excited and honored to become the next voice of New York racing," said Collmus in a statement. "The racing in New York is second to none; Belmont Park has such a rich history of championship racing and Saratoga has the best racing in the world and an atmosphere unlike any another place. I have some enormous shoes to fill as Tom Durkin raised the bar of our profession very high over the course of his brilliant career with the New York Racing Association."
Durkin, who has been NYRA's announcer since 1990, announced earlier this year he will call his last race at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 31.
"I would like to congratulate Larry and wish him the very best," said Durkin. "It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the loyal racing fans of New York for all of these years. I am confident that Larry will find New York racing as exciting and rewarding as I did."
Collmus' race calling career includes the following:
1985: Called his first race at Bowie Race Course at age 18
1987: Birmingham Turf Club
1988-91: Golden Gate Fields
1992-2008: Suffolk Downs
1994-2013: Monmouth Park
2005-06: Aqueduct Racetrack
2007-present: Gulfstream Park
2011-present: Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes for NBC Sports
2012-present: Breeders' Cup for NBC Sports
2014: Churchill Downs
Collmus received nationwide attention in 2010 when he called a race at Monmouth Park which involved two horses named Mywifenoseverything and Thewifedoesntknow. When the two horses finished first and second in the race, his call went viral with more than 1 million views on Youtube. He was asked to guest on several shows including the "CBS Early Show" and "Inside Edition."