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Announcing legend ends streak | People

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Announcing legend ends streak
People
Announcing legend ends streak

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Terry Wallace, Oaklawn Park’s track announcer for 37 years, ended his record streak of consecutive race calls at 20,191 Friday when he handed over the microphone to Frank Mirahmadi for the fifth race, which was won by Heavenly Prize. Wallace, who was back in the booth for the sixth race, took advantage of Mirahmadi’s visit to the track and enjoyed his very first Oaklawn race among the fans on the apron.

“For 37 years and counting I’ve had the best job in the world, calling races at Oaklawn Park,” said Wallace. “I’m very comfortable in knowing that my record isn’t going to be broken any time soon, so I’m thinking it might be fun to experience the track I love so much from a different prospective. With that said, I don’t plan on going anywhere for a while, but it is nice knowing I can step out of the booth from time to time.”

“There is no better ambassador for Oaklawn Park than Terry Wallace,” said Assistant General Manager of Racing David Longinotti. “We are very proud of his accomplishment and felt that he deserved what most other racetrack announcers have – a backup for emergencies. We also felt that by giving Terry the opportunity to leave the booth every once in a while, we could utilize his popularity with our fans in other ways.”

Mirahmadi, who currently calls the Northern California fair circuit and is an analyst for the Television Games Network (TVG), has been retained as Oaklawn’s backup announcer for the 2011 season and was in town to familiarize himself with the facility. He previously served as track announcer at Hialeah Park and Louisiana Downs.

“It was an incredible honor to call a race at Oaklawn Park,” said Mirahmadi. “Terry is legendary and one of the classiest people in horse racing. This opportunity is most certainly one of the major highlights of my career.”

Oaklawn Park has submitted an application with the Guinness Book of World Records because it is believed that Wallace’s 20,191 calls is a world record. Wallace hit the 20,000th race call milestone with his call of the third race March 25, 2010. The mayor at the time declared it “Terry Wallace Day” in Hot Springs and he received congratulatory letters from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and former President Bill Clinton, who was raised in Hot Springs.

People