12/09/2014 2:05PM

Woodbine track announcer Loiselle retiring in May


Woodbine track announcer Dan Loiselle, who has called more than 55,000 races, will retire May 31, the track announced Tuesday.

A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Loiselle started at Woodbine, then known as the Ontario Jockey Club, in 1967 as an assistant Standardbred racing secretary and backup announcer. He called Standardbred races for 17 years, including big events like the North America Cup, Maple Leaf Trot, and Breeders Crown.

In July 1986, Loiselle replaced Daryl Wells as the track’s Thoroughbred race caller. Loiselle has called 28 editions of the Queen’s Plate, the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to announce some of Canada’s greatest races,” Loiselle, 62, said in a statement. “My family and I owe everything we have to horse racing. It just feels like the right time."

Loiselle typically begins each race call with the phrase, "And they're off ..." Among his most famous calls was the 2003 Breeders’ Stakes, in which Wando became the most recent horse to sweep the Canadian Triple Crown. As Wando came down the stretch, Loiselle said, “They come to the final sixteenth, and Canada salutes the Breeders' Stakes winner and the Triple Crown champion … Wando was better than wonderful this afternoon – he was magnificent!"

"The name Dan Loiselle is synonymous with Woodbine Racetrack,” said Nick Eaves, Woodbine's president and chief executive. “Wherever I travel in North America, racing customers and industry players alike instantly ask about Danny and recount one of his many memorable calls.”

The track hasn’t named a replacement.

Usmat More than 1 year ago
I will miss him dearly Dan was one of the best voices in calling races. Dan, makes you exited most of the time. Replacing Dan will be very difficult. What a GENTLEMAN!! God bless you Dan have a wonderful retirement you deserve it.
buzz nottingham More than 1 year ago
This could be the right time for Dawn Lupul.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Dawn is very highly regarded at Woodbine. She has all our respect.
Gregory More than 1 year ago
why not Larry Collmus? Hell he calls every other track :( I'm so tired of hearing Larry Collmus announce that it just makes me sick....OVERKILL. And now NYRA has given him Durkin's job....sighs...... As far as Loiselle, he was good. Of course the best track announcer today is John Dooley. I would recommend him but I don't want him leaving New Orleans!
Neil More than 1 year ago
Agree about Dooley. Kurt Becker at Keenland also excellent. The rest are all forgettable.
Neil More than 1 year ago
grayposse More than 1 year ago
Best of luck Dan, hopefully Woodbine gets somebody good. And hopefully Edmonton finds an announcer PERIOD. Not a guy who calls the wrong horse in front by a country mile.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Adam I agree with you. Woodbine is good wagering and I like the races there. But, I'm happy they will be getting a new announcer. I wish Dan Loiselle the best in retirement, but it's time to get a better announcer. It will never happen, but Tony Calo would do awesome for Woodbine. Tony has been the announcer at Finger Lakes and he does an amazing job. Don't know him well? Look up FL and watch replays. Tony really is very accurate and adds knowledge and humor into the mix. Whoever it is, I'll be watching and listening. I just hope it's someone with a little more personality.
Mike Reinhardt More than 1 year ago
I agree wholeheartedly, Tony Calo would be an excellent choice. He can spot horses making moves like no other.
Adam More than 1 year ago
I know people may not like this comment but oh well. Listen I'm sure he is a fine man and given a lot to racing besides getting paid to announce races, so this is nothing personal, but I found his diction, accent, and tone annoying and uncomfortable to the ear. He sounded like a buffoon. When he got excited it was awkward and distracting, not a complement to the excitement of whatever was happening. This may sound weird but I'm telling you I deliberately wouldn't play Woodbine which seems to have some very playable fields because I like listening to race calls when I play and I didn't want to listen to that. I am curious if anyone feels the same way.
Mike Reinhardt More than 1 year ago
Very few Adam, and I am not one of them. his calls when a big price would win were priceless.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
I certainly do not feel this way. If you go to every publication that posted this story, 99% of the comments are positive towards Dan's career, and abilities. Hey if you didn't like his calling, it is your opinion, and I respect that. Please go watch TJ's Lucky Moon's Plate win...
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
A truly distinctive voice and an excellent race caller. Enjoy your retirement.
Brent Sedo More than 1 year ago
The Voice of Canadian Racing. It will be difficult to get used to hearing anyone else at Woodbine. Thanks for all the great calls.
petem More than 1 year ago
Top notch. Will be very hard to replace.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Rick Marks More than 1 year ago
Nice tribute to Dan, Tahlia. You are truly a selfless individual.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Your replying to a spam bot.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Just flag it.