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A Fan Looks Back on Tom Durkin’s 10 Best Race Calls

A Fan Looks Back on Tom Durkin’s 10 Best Race Calls: Legendary Tom Durkin made his final call today, Sunday, August 31, 2014 at Saratoga Race Course. If you are new to horse racing, you may have no idea who this article is about. I am here to list my favorite calls from the legendary career of Tom Durkin. I have compiled a list of ten races I think are some of the best calls I have ever heard. Some still give me chills! (See videos below of Tom Durkin’s last day.)

Tom Durkin Last Call

Legendary track announcer Tom Durkin at Saratoga Race Course.
Photo: Coglianese/NYRA

10. “Woah Nelly!”
This race was run in 1996. Only an allowance race, this showed the speed, heart, and versatility of Elusive Quality, who would later go on to sire Smarty Jones.

9. Ohnoitsmymotherinlaw
Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, I typed it correctly. Just hearing the drag in Tom’s voice is enough to dread seeing your mother-in-law next weekend!

8. Arrrr! Arrrr! Arrrr!
Whether is was talk like a pirate day at Saratoga or Tom really wanted to have fun with this horse’s name, he made it sound real!

7. Doremifasolatido
Tom should probably stick to calling races at the spa, but since he is approaching retirement, he may have a future in singing!

6. 1994 Travers Stakes
Holy Bull was running in races before I was born, but by golly, did he sure stir me up when he gave Tom Durkin this Travers win to call!

5. 2013 Travers Stakes
I love this race, and Tom Durkin stirs me up every time! Such a stacked field! And you see how those three year olds have matured and turned into amazing older horses, and it just wonderful. Another reason I love this sport!

Tom Durkin Calls Last Race

Tom Durkin finished up his last call by announcing “Condo Commando was Splashtastic!”

4. 2009 Woodward Stakes
“SHE IS RACHEL ALEXANDRA, THE GREAT!’ Tom loved this filly, and so did so many others! What a race this was!

3. “Tiznow wins it for America!”
Right after 9/11, America needed something, and Tiznow was that something! I kept the Breeders’ Cup Classic title home, instead of letting a foreign invader take that prize away.

2. 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic
“He is the incomparable, unconquerable, unbeatable CIGAR!” Cigar has a soft spot in my heart, but this call gives me chills.

It’s a tie for first!

1. 2007 Belmont Stakes
I cried while watching this stretch drive. I told everyone I talked to that day that this filly would win. In a battle of the sexes, the filly wins the Belmont!

1.1998 Belmont Stakes
“This is the photo of the century that did not deserve a loser, and I’m sure it was heartbreaking for Durkin to call that race.”

Tom Durkin’s Final Call 2014 Spinaway:

Tom Durkin Starts His Last Day:

Tom Durkin Day Proclamation: