12/30/2014 5:51PM

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.