04/14/2015 11:17AM

Harness: Tom Durkin to teach announcing class for charity

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Barbara Livingston
Tom Durkin has announced approximately 80,000 races in his career.

Tom Durkin, whose race calls have thrilled fans all over the world, will conduct a one-day workshop on how to call a horse race on Sunday, June 7, at The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY.

Durkin, a native of Chicago, got his start at the Wisconsin county fairs and has called the most prestigious races of both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing. He retired last August after a 43-year career calling some 80,000 races, including The Hambletonian, Breeders Cup and all the Triple Crown races.

Durkin, whose professional routine involved meticulous research and preparation of thousands of phrases to describe various racing scenarios, delivered with what the New York Times called, “his mellifluous baritone voice and vivid imagination,” will conduct the workshop to benefit the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame and Museum. 

He is also a Standardbred owner and breeder, along with his partner Joe Spadaro. Their stable includes the homebred 2012 New York Sire Stakes champion trotter Coraggioso. 

Classroom work will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon at The Harness Racing Museum, 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY. Tuition is $50, payable by a check to Saratoga Harness Hall of  Fame and Museum.  There are six premium spots available at $150 for those who would like to also call a race at adjacent Goshen Historic Track that afternoon at 1 p.m. Those not opting to also call a race pay only $50.

The races at the harness track are non-betting events with no purse and are designed to provide experience to young horses. Durkin will stand by as backup while each race is called by a student. Admission to the races and a program are included in tuition. Lunch is available at the track concession stand. 

The workshop is a cooperative venture between the USTA, Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track. For more information or to sign up for the workshop, email ellen.harvey@ustrotting.com or call 732-780-3700.

(press release--HRC)