12/09/2014 1:05PM

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.