Saratoga Springs, N.Y. — Legendary thoroughbred racing personality Tom Durkin, who called 25 editions of the Belmont Stakes from 1990 through 2014 for the New York Racing Association, will discuss several of his favorite calls of the iconic race during a special program at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 31 at 7 p.m. The program is open to the public and free to attend. Retired jockey and Capital OTB racing analyst Jeff Carle will serve as the program moderator.
The evening will feature several Belmont Stakes video replays in the Hall of Fame, as selected by Durkin, and the stories behind the races. The program is part of the Museum’s Racing Industry Partnership of the Month with the New York Racing Association. Belmont Park will host the 150th running of its signature event on June 9 with Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Justify attempting to become America’s 13th Triple Crown winner.
Durkin, who received the Eclipse Award of Merit in 2015, retired from calling races at the end of the 2014 Saratoga meet to cap an illustrious 43-year career. A Chicago native, Durkin studied theatre at St. Norbert College and began calling races at county fairs in Wisconsin during the summer of 1971. In 1975, he moved on to ply his trade at a string of small tracks, including Cahokia Downs, Balmoral Race Course, Quad City Downs and Miles Park, before landing the job at Miami’s Hialeah Race Course in 1981. Three years later, he was hired as the announcer for the Breeders’ Cup, a job he held until 2005. Durkin called all the Triple Crown races for a decade beginning in 2001.
Carle has hosted several programs at the Museum in recent years, including a series with Hall of Fame legends, including Allen Jerkens, D. Wayne Lukas, Angel Cordero, Jr., Jacinto Vasquez, LeRoy Jolley, Alex Solis, John Velazquez, Jose Santos, Edgar Prado and Shug McGaughey. Carle was the leading apprentice jockey on the New York circuit in 1989. He won a total of 290 races, including the Delaware Handicap and Fayette Stakes, before spending 10 years as a public trainer.
For more information about the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, please visit www.racingmuseum.org or call (518) 584-0400
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