12/26/2011 1:22PM

Tampa Bay announcer Richard Grunder returns to booth


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Richard Grunder, whose enthusiastic and informative style of calling races has made him a crowd favorite at Tampa Bay Downs for the past 27 years, returned to the announcer’s booth last Wednesday after completing an eight week rehab following surgery to repair a detached retina in his right eye.

Grunder noticed problems with his vision this fall and an examination disclosed a detatched retina. He underwent surgery at the St. Luke’s Cataract and Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs, Fla. The surgery was deemed a success but Grunder was forced to lay face down for upwards of six hours a day in the weeks after the procedure in order to ensure the affected area remained stationary.

Bobby Neuman, regular announcer at Calder, filled in for Grunder for the first seven days of live racing.

◗ Beginning Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs will run a free horse shuttle between Calder and Tampa Bay Downs each Saturday. The shuttle will leave Calder at 3 a.m. Information on the service can be had by calling Tom Pellegrino of Brook Ledge at (859) 983-0574.