12/30/2014 6:51PM

Jack Wilson, longtime DRF chart-caller, dies at 80


Jack Wilson, who called charts and was the supervisor of Daily Racing Form’s track and field operations during a 42-year career, died Tuesday due to congestive heart failure. He was 80.

Wilson began calling charts for DRF on April 7, 1956 and worked primarily in New York and south Florida before becoming the supervisor of the company’s track and field operations. He retired in 1999. Wilson called all the Triple Crown races for nearly three decades and he called the Breeders’ Cup charts from the beginning of that event in 1984 until his retirement.

It was Wilson who correctly pegged Secretariat’s margin of 31 lengths in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. That race was one of just three, according to Jack’s son John, for which Wilson editorialized in his comments. “Outstanding performance,” Wilson wrote at the end of the chart.

Another race Wilson wrote a footnote for was one at Tropical Park when an alligator crossed the track during the running of a race, according to John Wilson.

John Wilson said one of his most memorable moments he spent with his father was when Jack took him fishing in a boat in the lake of Hialeah Racetrack.

Jack Wilson is survived by his wife, Patricia; brothers Bob and David; sons John and Jim; daughter Patti; and grandchildren Katie, Kristie and Lakota.

A memorial service will be held on Jan. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Stanfill Funeral Homes, 10545 South Dixie Highway, Miami, Fla. 33156; (305) 667-2518.

In August, Jack’s nephew Chuck Streva a chart-caller in south Florida, died.

Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
This man set the standard for all Trackmen to follow. The following is an excerpt from the Charts of January 13, 1960, TrP Fourth Race - "Hans II ran over an alligator on the course while saving ground at the first turn, split horses to take over leaving the far turn and after dropping over, drew off with authority." He beat Swamp Rabbit by 71/2. Thanks Jack and thank you Dave Grening.
John McEvoy More than 1 year ago
Jack was a true professional. Plus, he was a character who had fun and spread fun. He will be long remembered. John McEvoy
Brad Telias More than 1 year ago
Jack's succinct race comments and descriptions are indelibly etched with me forever and used both on and off the track. No doubt a befitting tribute to a man who you enjoyed just being with and talking horses. He was truly one of the sport's finest professionals from whom we all learned and will always be remembered as such.
Lynne Snierson More than 1 year ago
Jack was the greatest, and the kindest, pure and simple.
Lynne Snierson More than 1 year ago
Jack was the greatest, and the kindest, pure and simple.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had the good fortune to know Jack Wilson, great guy , tops in his profession .
philcoforde More than 1 year ago
God Bless Mr. Wilson and THANK YOU for your wonderful service to the game.
Ernie Munick More than 1 year ago
A good, kind man. Sorry to read this.
Juan Perez More than 1 year ago
God blessed us with someone of his stature as a chart caller. We have lost an icon in horse racing. Rest in peace.
william More than 1 year ago
Sorry to hear it. The guy doing the NYRA charts nowadays is brutal.