10/11/2004 11:00PM

Dooley to call at Fair Grounds


In an apparent move to consolidate the workload within the Churchill Downs Inc. family, John G. Dooley will replace Michael Wrona as the track announcer at Fair Grounds when the New Orleans track begins its upcoming season on Nov. 25.

Fair Grounds is in the process of being purchased by Churchill Downs from Bryan Krantz. Dooley is the announcer at Arlington Park, which is also owned by Churchill Downs.

Wrona said he learned of the decision over the weekend from Randy Soth, the new general manager at Fair Grounds. Wrona said he had agreed verbally to a two-year contract extension with Krantz in the spring, but the two never put anything to paper.

"I'm disappointed Churchill chose not to honor Bryan's commitment to me," Wrona said Tuesday. "I'm not upset at Randy. He and I worked well together when I was at Retama."

Soth did not return calls seeking comment.

Wrona is the announcer at Lone Star Park, which is conducting a meeting this month because it plays host to the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 30. Because of the Fair Grounds situation, Wrona - considered one of the nation's elite racecallers - is not scheduled to call anywhere this winter.