05/16/2017 2:59PM

Harness: Learn to be a track announcer

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Spots are still available in a workshop for those who would like to learn to call a horse race. The United States Trotting Association, in conjunction with the Meadowlands Racetrack, is sponsoring the educational event on Saturday (June 17) at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

The workshop, open to all ages, will be conducted by Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway announcer Ken Warkentin, who has called Standardbred and Thoroughbred races, including 17 Hambletonians. Warkentin, who started calling races at age 16, anchors the Meadowlands show on SNY and has also been on racing broadcast teams for CBS, NBC and ESPN. He provides voice overs for a variety of outlets and has a website, www.kenvoice.com.

The workshop was last conducted in 2015 with announcer Tom Durkin as the instructor. Video of that workshop can be seen here. The two hour workshop has been logged so viewers can skip to the segments of most interest to them if they do not want to watch the entire segment.

The day’s events will start at 8 a.m. at the track and wrap up with students who wish to do so calling one of the non-betting, non-purse races for 2-year-olds that will start at 10 a.m. If the number of students who want to call a race exceeds the number of races that day, a random draw will be held to match a student with a race.

Tuition is $40 for adults and $10 for high school and college students. Tuition will take the form of a tax deductible donation to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Class size is limited to 30.

As a tribute to Sam McKee, the late Meadowlands announcer who started calling races at age 14, the USTA and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation have teamed up to provide travel grants, if needed, for high school and college students attending the class.

For more information or to sign up, contact Ellen Harvey at ellen.harvey@ustrotting.com or call 732.780.3700.

-Release (USTA Communications)