02/21/2008 12:00AM

Ross Morton, veteran race-caller, dead at 74


Ross Morton, the longtime race-caller at Finger Lakes Racetrack and former Gulfstream Park announcer, died Wednesday night in a hospital in Margate, Fla., after suffering a stroke on Monday, according to family members. Morton was 74.

Morton had called the races at Finger Lakes since the track's opening in 1962, a span of 46 years, and was the only regular race-caller in the track's history. Morton also called races at Gulfstream Park in Florida for 23 years, spanning the 1970s and 1990s, and called races at now-closed Hialeah Park for five seasons.

Morton was also the host of a weekly television show in upstate New York called "Winner's Circle."

According to family members, Morton had said that his most memorable calls were Seattle Slew's win in the 1977 Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah; John Henry's 1980 Hialeah Turf Cup; Forego's 1974 Gulfstream Park Handicap; and Holy Bull's 1994 Florida Derby.