12/18/2015 11:12AM

Espinosa named new announcer at Charles Town

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Paul Espinosa will be Charles Town's new full-time announcer starting in 2016.

After a two-month search, Paul Espinosa has been named the new announcer at Charles Town.

Espinosa, a 26-year-old native of Charles Town, W.Va., will take over as the full-time announcer when the track begins its 2016 season Jan. 7. The current season ends next Wednesday.

Espinosa is one of several announcers who have filled in since Jeff Cernik and Charles Town parted ways following the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics card on Oct. 10. Cernik had been the announcer at Charles Town since 1999.

Espinosa, a graduate of West Virginia University, has worked as a paddock host and a handicapper on major event days at Charles Town since 2009. Espinosa helped cover the Breeders’ Cup this year for the Horse Racing Radio Network.

Last summer, Espinosa won the “America’s Next Race Caller” contest at Del Mar and, as a result, got to call the last race at Del Mar on Aug. 15.

“We consider Paul to be a talented individual whose presence and enthusiasm is easily discernable through a microphone,” said Erich Zimny, the vice president of racing operations at Charles Town.  “Paul certainly figures to get even better with experience and will contribute significantly to the enhancement of our track’s presentation.”  

Espinosa’s grandfather, Victor Espinosa, is a trainer at Charles Town, and his father, Paul Espinosa Sr., is a former director of marketing and publicity at the track.

“I’m not only passionate about horse racing, but I’m passionate about horse racing at Charles Town,” Espinosa said.