04/03/2014 10:57AM

NYRA to provide race calls in Spanish

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Luis Grandison, the racecaller at El Hipodromo Presidente Remon in Panama City, Panama, from 1978-2003, has been hired by the New York Racing Association to provide calls of its races in Spanish, the first time a North American racetrack has hired a full-time Spanish-speaking caller.

Grandison started at Aqueduct on Thursday, the same day that NYRA announced his hiring. Grandison, 57, has also worked with ABC Radio, KW Continente, and Radio Pan-Americana, according to NYRA.

The Spanish language race calls will be available ontrack on separate audio and video feeds, according to NYRA, and through options on NYRA’s account-wagering site. The Spanish feed will also be distributed to NYRA’s simulcast sites in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, but it does not appear as if the Spanish feed will be available, at least initially, to other North American simulcast sites.

“In the coming months, NYRA will make the Spanish race calls available in a variety of locations and across multiple platforms,” the association said in an announcement.

NYRA operates three tracks, Aqueduct in Queens, Belmont in Elmont, Long Island, and Saratoga in Saratoga Springs.

The latest census of New York City’s population in 2010 counted 2.4 million Hispanic-origin people in the five boroughs, nearly the same population as whites. In Queens, Hispanic-origin people are nearly the majority. Elmont’s population is 21.8 percent Hispanic, according to the census, while the larger Nassau County is 14.6 percent Hispanic.