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A Tremendous Machine

April 26, 2011

Tom Durkin, who calls the races for most of the year at the New York thoroughbred tracks — Aqueduct, Belmont & Saratoga — has decided that he’s not re-upping his contract with NBC to call the Triple Crown races nationally. He’ll still call the Belmont since it’s run, well, at Belmont. But you’ll only hear it if you’re at the track or watching on Channel 71.

“The experience I’ve had working with NBC Sports over the last 27 years has been the most satisfying and rewarding of my professional life,” said Tom Durkin in a statement. “And so, it is with deep regret that I have made the decision not to renew my contract as NBC’s Triple Crown announcer. It was an extremely difficult decision to make and one that came after almost a year of reflection. Because of the stress of the event I felt it was not in the interest of my best health. My biggest disappointment though, is not being able to work with my NBC colleagues, many of whom have become some of my dearest friends.

Personally, I’m fine with that. Durkin is a fantastic race-caller and I’m happy to have us New Yorkers have him all to ourselves (and the left-coasters can keep their namby-pamby South African Trevor Denman with his fancy accent).

But Tom Durkin is awesome, and why should he have to keep calling the Triple Crown races? Personally, I think the races should be called by the race-callers at each of the tracks, but that probably won’t happen. The front-runner to replace Durkin appears to be Larry Collmus (THE WIFE DOESN’T KNOW!!!!) and I’m fine with that too.

But here’s to Tom Durkin, who should be appreciated, because that’s one fucking hard job, as evidenced by his horrible call of Mine That Bird winning the Derby:

But it would be mean to point that one out without giving you an example of how great he is. Who else would do this?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. raginrr permalink
    April 27, 2011 11:53 am

    NBC and the racin’ community’s loss…hard to believe it’s been 27 years…


  2. jco permalink
    April 27, 2011 2:15 pm

    Wow. I had missed the rotten Mine That Bird call. I blame the juleps, for my own part, but for Tom that was quite the misstep. I will miss him on network TV but fortunately we’ll always have TVG.

    • Fat Al permalink*
      April 27, 2011 2:26 pm

      Between the juleps and the Brooklyn hipsters you may have been a little distracted.

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