All posts by SKB

40 Days of Durkin: Sunday, August 10, 2014

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

Before Tom Durkin was the voice of NYRA, he was at Hialeah Park.  And long before Doremifasolatido and Ohnoitsmymothernlaw, there was Yakahickamicadola.

Right from the start, Durkin appreciated the absurdity of this name and just started calling gibberish. For my money it’s Durkin’s funniest call.

http://

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin: Saturday, August 9, 2014

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

FourstardaveCoverBDL

The only figure perhaps more famous at Saratoga than Tom Durkin is Fourstardave.  So, Thorobros would be remiss if we did not include a Fourstardave call in our 40 Days of Durkin series.  And is there a more appropriate time to do so than on the day of ‘Dave’s Grade 1 race?

The Sultan of Saratoga won at least one race at the Spa for eight consecutive years spanning from 1987 thru 1994.  In doing so, he became a local legend.  Fourstardave retired after making 99 starts with a record of 21-18-16 and earnings of $1,636,560.   He also owns a mellon turf course record at Saratoga, traveling a mile and sixteenth in 1:38 4/5.

In 1995, following his retirement, Fourstardave was given an edible key to the city of Saratoga and a street,  “Fourstardave Way” was named in his honor.  On a personal note, two young Thorobros attended the 1995 street naming outside Siros and have signed goggles which Angel Cordero wore that day as he rode ‘Dave over from the barn area.

Today’s clip is of Tom Durkin cheering home the “Old Boy” as he dominates an allowance field for his final Saratoga victory.   Enjoy and best of luck to everone wagering on today’s Fourstardave.

 http://

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin: Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

Tom Durkin has called plenty of upsets over the years.   Sarava at 70-1 in the 2002 Belmont and Arcangues in the 1993 Classic at 133-1, come to mind.  However, the most monumental of all upsets narrated by Durkin may have occurred at Gulfstream Park during the 1996 Fountain of Youth.  Classy Derby contenders Editor’s Note and Unbridled Song (the 1995 BC Juvenile winner) dominated pre-race headlines.  But a $40,000 yearling purchase, Built for Pleasure, who vanned to the track from Calder just hours before the race, rumbled home to a half a length victory at 143-1.  Trained by then 78 year old Texas based trainer Thomas Heard and ridden by Gary Boulanger, Built For Pleasure returned $288.20.

Durkin could see the potential tote board explosion at the sixteenth pole and was prepared as always (even for the imposible) when Built For Pleasure crossed the wire first.  “99-1 is impossible!” And our favorite: “The board says 99-1.  That’s the minimum price!”

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin: Sunday, August 3

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

One of this Thorobros favorite calls did not involve a blanket finish.  There was no epic stretch drive.  The most exciting part of this race occurred at the quarter pole as California’s star juvenile colt was challenged by the best of France. “The stage is set,”  Tom Durkin called.

In 1991 Allen Pauslon sent his $350,000 yearling purchase (bought from the owner of the Bills) to France.  Arazi won six of seven starts, all on grass, and was shipped to Churchill for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and a show down with Bertrando, a future Eclipse winner.

Arazi drew post 14 and spotted the field a dozen lengths.  It didn’t matter.  Pat Valenzuela weaved Arazi through traffic on the backstretch and as they came around the turn, Durkin prepared himself for a battle.  “The stage is set.”  But then the undersized Euro surprised everyone, Durkin included.

“And Arazi runs right by him.” “This…indeed…is…a superstar.”

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin: Wednesday, July 23

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

In the spirit of today’s post position draw for Saturday’s jockey foot race, organized by NYRA as part of its participation in a national day of awareness for the PDJF, we bring to you rare footage of the last jockey foot race held at Saratoga in 1995. 

Many have said Durkin could announce anything and make it interesting. This video may be proof.  So many great lines:

“The morning line favorite has to be Frankie Lovato Jr. in post 13 with the addition of mud caulks.”

“And in red there is our outrider, Jean Luc Samyn. They’re going all of about 100 yards”

“And there they go, Bailey fell on his face out of the gate, on the far outside here comes Shane Sellers.”

and our favorite:  “We just received a call, the inquiry sign is on, an inquiry has been posted…into the entire proceedings.”

The race starts at the two minute mark.

http://

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin–Monday, July 21

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

In honor of Monday–a foggy day for most as they dust off the weekend cobwebs and march into work–we’re recalling Durkin’s infamous Aqueduct fog call from 2009.

Although there was no dramatic stretch duel and he incorrectly identified the leader at the top of the turn, this call features some textbook Durkin one-liners such as:

“Nothing more beautiful.  Whooo, they’re going fast too.  21 and 1 for the opening quarter.  Wish I could see them.” and

“And Shotgun Holiday was third in a magnificently run event.”

http://

 

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin–Sunday, July 20

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

In honor of today’s Coaching Club American Oaks, we take a look back at the 2011 edition, which featured a small but star studded field including Plum Pretty, It’s Tricky, Joyful Victory, and Royal Delta.  Although all three Thorobros were all in attendance at Saratoga that day, I did not recall this being such a good stretch battle between Plum Pretty and It’s Tricky. In fairness, it was this Thorbro’s bachelor party and the effects of an aggressive Friday night at Gaffney’s had spilled over to Saturday.

http://

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin–Saturday, July 19

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the 2014 Saratoga meet.

“He’s 88 to 1!!!!”

Although he may have been slightly delayed on calling Slambino’s monster run down the lane (tough to blame him though given the unbelievable acceleration in the final sixteenth), Durkin more than salvaged the call with an epic declaration after they crossed the wire.

Here’s to an upset of Slambino-type proportions today at the Spa!

 

http://

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

40 Days of Durkin–Friday, July 18

In honor of Tom Durkin’s retirement from race calling on August 31, we are taking a look back at 40 of his most memorable calls–one for each day of the Saratoga meet.

We begin with what Durkin has described as his most memorable Travers.  As Durkin said in a Q and A with DRF in 2011:

“One of the great performances I think I’ve ever seen from any horse was Holy Bull. Wayne Lukas sent out Commanche Trail as a rabbit for Tabasco Cat, and they went in 22 and change. Holy Bull was never meant to be a mile-and-a-quarter horse. By Great Above, out of Sharon Brown? Come on. People thought since he didn’t win the Derby he wasn’t a mile-and-a-quarter horse, and then he takes that punishment, and then here comes Concern, who goes on and wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Holy Bull beat him. That was one of the great Travers ever.”

http://

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Marketing Mix: Promotion of the Week—Los Alamitos and the California Chrome Good Luck Card

Most horse racing fans would agree that race tracks, especially smaller market tracks, need to improve their marketing campaigns in order to attract fans.  How the small market tracks achieve marketing success, however, is debatable.  Every Tuesday, in Marketing Mix, we will analyze a race track promotion from the week before, examining why it worked or why it failed, and whether it furthers the goal of promoting the sport.

No race track is enjoying more positive PR right now than Los Alamitos.  Much like Philadelphia Park benefited from Smarty Jones’ 2004 Triple Crown pursuit, Los Al’s is receiving similar attention as California Chrome’s home base.   Los Al’s marketing department has recognized this unique opportunity and is capitalizing. Continue reading Marketing Mix: Promotion of the Week—Los Alamitos and the California Chrome Good Luck Card

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS