09/06/2006 12:00AM

Denman to call Breeders' Cup

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Trevor Denman, the longtime Southern California race caller, has been hired by ESPN to call the races for its 2006 Breeders' Cup telecast, the network announced Wednesday.

Denman, who calls the races at Del Mar and Santa Anita, will call the Breeders' Cup races on a national broadcast for the first time. The Breeders' Cup will be held this year on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

Denman will replace Tom Durkin, who has called the races for the Breeders' Cup telecast since the event's inception in 1984. Durkin said last week that contractual arrangements with NBC, the Breeders' Cup's former broad-

caster, would prevent him from appearing on the ESPN telecast. NBC has a contract to broadcast the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes through 2010. NBC had broadcast every Breeders' Cup since 1984, but ESPN signed a contract late last year to broadcast the eight-race event through 2013.

Denman, 53, is a native of South Africa and began his career there as a race caller 35 years ago. He moved to the United States in 1983 to call the races at Del Mar and has frequently appeared as an analyst on racing broadcasts.

This year's Breeders' Cup telecast, the first to be broadcast on ESPN, will be hosted by Chris Fowler, according to the network. Also appearing on the telecast will be Kenny Mayne, Randy Moss, Jerry Bailey, Hank Goldberg, Jeanine Edwards, and Joe Tessitore.

A spokesman for ESPN, Mark Mandel, said that the network has a policy not to comment on contractual arrangements. Frequently in television broadcasting, contracts for new on-air talent run for one year.