This summer, Saratoga Race Course will have a new, booming voice calling all of its races. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has announced that John Imbriale—who worked as a backup to longtime Saratoga race caller Tom Durkin—succeeds Larry Collmus (Durkin’s successor) as race caller and track announcer at Saratoga, along with Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park.
Imbriale is no stranger to the art of race calling. Back in 1979, he won a New York Daily News contest, which afforded him the one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to call a race and work with the NYRA press office. By 1990, Imbriale had become Tom Durkin’s backup and has since joined NYRA’s race-calling team at all three tracks. Imbriale has also worked with Harvey Pack on the Inside Racing program and behind the scenes on roles at NYRA TV, most recently as NYRA’s director of television production.
“John Imbriale is a central part of the fabric of Thoroughbred racing in New York,” says NYRA CEO and President Dave O’Rourke. “Johnny I’s high level of professionalism and flawless delivery are well known to horseplayers and racing fans, and we congratulate him on becoming the voice of NYRA.”
Imbriale takes over for Collmus, who joined NYRA in 2014 and called the American Pharoah and Justify Triple Crowns in 2015 and 2018, respectively.
“In a sense, this is a job for which I’ve been preparing for years,” says Imbriale, who celebrated 40 years with NYRA this past November. “I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by incredible race callers during my career. I learned from all of them, and these lessons live with me to this day. I’m humbled by the trust placed in me by NYRA and look forward to calling races for the best fans in the sport.”