It was announced today that Tom Durkin has stepped down from his TV Gig with NBC Sports calling the Triple Crown Races.
My guess is that Larry Collmus, a real pro, will get the nod.
Durkin isn't going anyway, his calls will continue to be heard for NYRA at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. Like all of us, he made mistakes every so often but I love Durkin because he has all the qualities I look for in a race caller:
Call the entire field at least once.
Durkin, even in the 20 horse Derby field, would always call every horse and their race position at least once. It is amazing how many race callers don't regularly do this. There is nothing more frustrating they betting on a horse, trying to follow where he is in the field, and never hearing the horse called.
Call the splits.
Durkin would quickly and clearly call the 1/4, 1/2 & 3/4 mile splits so you knew how the speed of the race was going.
Know when the race deserves a big call.
Durkin is great at turning it on when the race calls for it. Durkin knew when a race was big, when the stars of the sport when running, and when the audience was watching.
One of his best calls containing the above qualities was his call of Rachel Alexandra winning the 2009 Woodward Stakes