06/29/2016 10:40AM

Collmus steps down from Gulfstream announcing job

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Maryland Jockey Club
Larry Collmus will still be the voice of NYRA for seven months of the year, as well as the voice of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup.

Larry Collmus has stepped down as the wintertime racetrack announcer at Gulfstream Park. No replacement has been named.

Collmus, 49, who began calling the races at Gulfstream in January 2007, cited the desire to lessen his workload, which includes calling races at the New York Racing Association tracks – Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga – seven months of the year as well as being the voice of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup. Collmus informed Gulfstream Park management of his decision Wednesday morning.

“I will not be returning as the announcer for the winter meet at Gulfstream,” Collmus said. “It’s been a good 10 years, but I feel at this time of my career that it’s in my best interests to cut back my schedule. I’ll be 50 years old in October, and the wear and tear of nearly year-round race-calling will catch up to my body and brain eventually.

“A winter break will boost my energy levels and give me an opportunity to keep the creative juices flowing. I am extremely fortunate to work for the NYRA and for NBC Sports, and I think I owe it to them to be the best I can be for many years to come.”

Pete Aiello calls the races at Gulfstream from early April through November. Though Gulfstream officials said Wednesday that no decision has been made on Collmus’s replacement, it is expected that Aiello will be offered the wintertime position. Last winter, Aiello called the races at Oaklawn Park, which means that track could need an announcer for the 2017 meet.

In a statement, Gulfstream Park president and general manager P.J. Campo said: “We totally understand where Larry is coming from. He’s under tremendous stress each day with everything he’s doing, and Larry is a perfectionist. We appreciate everything Larry has done for Gulfstream. He’s been a true professional and a great friend to Gulfstream. We wish him all the best moving forward.”

Collmus, who has called races at a plethora of tracks starting in 1985, said he worked at Gulfstream on a year-to-year oral contract. In the summer of 2014, Collmus signed a five-year contract to call the races at NYRA, taking over for the retiring Tom Durkin.

In April 2015, Collmus began his NYRA duties. He calls the races at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga from April through October.

Asked if he planned to pick up any more work from NYRA, Collmus said, “At this point, nothing changes with my NYRA schedule.”

From November to March, John Imbriale and Travis Stone split the race-calling job at NYRA.