12/08/2015 3:29PM

Mirahmadi resigns Oaklawn post for shot at Santa Anita job


Frank Mirahmadi, who has been the announcer at Oaklawn Park since the retirement of longtime caller Terry Wallace, said Tuesday he has resigned his position with the Hot Springs, Ark., track to call races at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields. 

Mirahmadi, a 48-year-old native of Los Angeles, said he and Golden Gate Fields announcer Michael Wrona will serve as announcers at the winter-spring meet at Santa Anita, which begins Dec. 26. Mirahmadi also will call at Golden Gate Fields in Northern California when Wrona is in action at Santa Anita. They will at least temporarily replace Trevor Denman, who on Friday announced he is retiring from calling races at Santa Anita.

“Santa Anita has always been my dream job,” Mirahmadi said. “Trevor is my idol. They haven't by any means promised me anything. I have to give it my best to see if I can hopefully win over fans and management.”

Mirahmadi said he received a call from Santa Anita management last Thursday afternoon.

“They told me confidentially that Trevor was going to announce his retirement from Santa Anita," he said. "They said they were not prepared to name a successor, but for the next upcoming season would like for me to call some of the meet. They plan to open up a worldwide search.”

Mirahmadi said he does not know which specific dates he will be calling at Santa Anita.

“I know it’s just something I have to pursue,” he said. “Steve Crist’s book 'Betting On Myself' says it all. If you ask me what my favorite book is, it’s 'Betting On Myself' by Steve Crist. I think it’s a fitting title for what I have to do here.”

Mirahmadi took over as Oaklawn’s announcer four years ago, in 2012, recalling the date by listing off the winners of the Arkansas Derby during his tenure: Bodemeister, Overanalyze, Danza, and American Pharoah.

“No matter what happens, I’m going to very much miss Oaklawn,” Mirahmadi said. “They’re great people. They gave me the opportunity to call the best races of my career. There’s nothing else I would ever consider leaving them for [except] Santa Anita. I’ve been going to Santa Anita for over 40 years. I’ve been there for many Big Caps, many Malibus.”

Oaklawn has begun its search for a new announcer, and issued the following statement Tuesday.

“Frank Mirahmadi has resigned to pursue other opportunities,” said track official David Longinotti. “We wish him the very best. Oaklawn is among the premier race meets in the country and we have begun a search to find the most talented race caller available. We have received numerous applications.”

Oaklawn opens its meet on Jan. 15.