01/09/2006 12:00AM

'Costy' Caras, race-caller, dies

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Constantine L. "Costy" Caras, the longtime former race-caller at Charles Town Races, died on Saturday at Shenandoah Health Village Center in Charles Town, W.Va. Caras was 81.

Caras, who retired in 1999, was the announcer at Charles Town for 30 years. He was known for stretching out syllables during his race calls and for a signature post-time call.

A native of New York City, Caras was for two years assistant to Fred Capossela, the longtime announcer for the New York Racing Association, before striking out on his own.

Caras is survived by his wife of 26 years, Carole Caras.

Services were scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Zion Episcopal Church in Charles Town.