07/15/2008 12:00AM

Kruytbosch memorial service planned at Ellis

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Luke Kruytbosch, the announcer at Churchill Downs, Turf Paradise, and Ellis Park who was found dead Monday morning in his Evansville, Ind., apartment, will be memorialized in a service at Ellis Park when racing resumes there Wednesday.

Ellis Park’s director of operations, Bob Jackson, said the track is still working out the details of the service, but tentative plans call for it to begin before the first race, “maybe five minutes to 12 and last for about 10 or 15 minutes,” said Jackson.

Jackson said he and other Ellis Park employees were shocked following the sudden loss of their colleague and friend, who was 47.

The Vanderburgh County, Ind., coroner’s office told the Evansville Courier and Press the likely cause of death was coronary-related.

A moment of silence will be observed during the Wednesday remembrance.

“We’re also considering not having a call for the first race, going silent, and then pick it up after that,” Jackson said.

As of midday Tuesday, the track had not determined who would replace Kruytbosch in the announcer’s booth, Jackson said.

Funeral arrangements remain incomplete.

Jackson said Ellis Park is planning an additional memorial service in Kruytbosch’s memory at the track Aug. 31, and the track’s racing secretary, Dan Bork, said a stakes or handicap race likely would be named after Kruytbosch.

“He was too important a part of this place to leave his loss go unnoticed,” Bork said. “His name needs to be here for a long time.”