Handicapper Blog

Posted by Brian Skirka on Thursday, May 24, 2012 4:58 PM

Keeping it short and sweet this week.  


I’m only 26 years old.  I missed out on a lot of the historically significant horse races and race calls that happened before my time.  But I have to believe that the call of the 2012 Preakness by the voice of the Triple Crown, Monmouth Park track announcer, and my friend Larry Collmus will go down in history as one of the best race calls of all time.  


Informative as always, but what passion in the stretch.  If you don’t get goosebumps listening to that, don’t even bother watching the Belmont.  First the energy picked up around the far turn, then the voice started to go nearing the wire…finish it off with a dramatic “And the Triple Crown will be on the line at Belmont Park.”  It was the most dramatic I’ve ever heard.


Before the Preakness, the race call I always went to when I was in that “goosebumps kind of mood” was Dan Hicks calling the 4x100 Freestyle Relay in the 2008 Olympics – when the U.S. men came from behind in the last…um, stride…to win.  The last 30 seconds of that call was the most dramatic call I’ve ever heard.


Maybe I’m biased, but this call was better.  It’s a stretch call that will go down in history.


As for early impressions of the Belmont, I’ve been on Union Rags for a LONG time.  I LOVE the jockey switch to John Velazquez.  But I just have a feeling that I’ll Have Another is going to do it.  Maybe it has something to due with the fact that I’ll be out of the country on Saturday, June 9.

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Brian Skirka graduated from Rutgers University in 2007 with a degree in journalism. He currently works for Monmouth Park’s marketing and publicity departments and is in his fifth year working at the track. In the past, Brian’s work has also been published on www.thebigm.com and www.ntra.com.