12/04/2015 2:32PM

Denman retires from Santa Anita, to remain at Del Mar

Benoit & Associates
Trevor Denman, the announcer at Santa Anita for more than 30 years, is retiring from that job but will continue to call races at Del Mar.

Trevor Denman, the legendary announcer who has revolutionized race commentary in the United States in the last 30 years, is retiring from his position at Santa Anita, the track announced on Friday.

Denman will not announce the races for the upcoming winter-spring meeting, which begins on Dec. 26, but is not stepping away from the sport. Del Mar officials said on Friday that Denman will continue to be the race caller at the track’s two annual meetings, in the summer and fall.

“He is planning on staying at Del Mar,” Del Mar president Joe Harper said. “I talked to Trevor and we’re looking forward to having him back.”

Santa Anita officials have launched a search for a replacement.

Denman emigrated from his native South Africa in 1983. He began calling the races at Santa Anita at the Oak Tree meeting in the fall of 1983 and became the track’s full-time announcer for the 1984-85 winter-spring meeting.

Over time, he become one of the most popular announcers in the world for his approach of not only describing the position of the runners but adding in-race commentary. often about whether a horse was running poorly or, in one of his most familiar phrases, was “moving like a winner.”

Denman, 63, made the announcement through a statement issued by Santa Anita, saying he wanted to reduce his workload and spend more time traveling.

“After calling the races for 44 years, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to kick back, relax, and enjoy the rest of my life on my farm in Minnesota and do some traveling both throughout America and overseas,” he said.

Santa Anita chairman Keith Brackpool paid tribute to Denman’s service at the historic track.

“We knew this situation would come one day, but we were selfishly hoping it would be many years down the line,” he said in a statement. “We have had the privilege of listening to the best of the best for 33 years. No one paints the portrait of a race like Trevor Denman.”

At one point in the 1990s, Denman was the race commentator at all four Southern California tracks – Del Mar, Fairplex Park, Hollywood Park, and Santa Anita – but cut back on that schedule in later years.

Harper was quick to praise Denman’s place in American race commentary.

“In my gazillion years at the racetrack, I think he’s the best announcer I’ve ever heard,” he said.