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Eight Get Tested On Pimlico Media Celebrity Announcer Day
BALTIMORE-05-03-13---The race call for eight of the 10 races on Friday afternoon were made by members of the Baltimore press corps, who found out first-hand how difficult Dave Rodman’s track announcing job is during the first annual Media Celebrity Announcer Day at Pimlico Race Course.
“I think everybody did a great job. They were well prepared,” said Rodman, who has been the track announcer at the major Maryland tracks since March 1991 and will be calling his 23rd Preakness Stakes in two weeks. “It is a tough thing to be thrown in and then memorize horses and then on the turn realize I don’t know who that is because I have had that feeling many times so I could only imagine doing it for the first time.”
Below are the links to each call and the reaction from the celebrity.
Race 1-Bryan Nehman, WBAL Radio
“I thought I got off to a pretty good start but when they went around the turn, I just lost them. I was doing my best to make sure I was calling the right horse on the lead although I wasn’t describing it as much as I should have. Finally when they came down the stretch it was hard to see because of the angle, so I took the binoculars down and concentrated on the 7, Semlanza. I spent an hour going over this race last night. I had my kids quizzing me about horse numbers and colors. How Dave does that 10 different times every day with 100 different horses is mind-blowing. He is a talented individual.”
Race 2-Jamie Costello, WMAR-TV
“That was a rush. I felt like I was riding in the race. It was a great thrill to be here. Jim McKay started WMAR right here at Pimlico calling a race and here I am 65 years later. This was a pretty big item crossed off my bucket list. Dave Rodman is pretty darn good to do this because all heck breaks loose. It takes an incredibly talented person to do this every race, every day.”
Race 3-Gerry Sandusky, WBAL-TV
“I understand why someone would want to be a track announcer but I don’t know how you could do that with a full card of races every day. That was so much fun. It gave me such an appreciation for what a pro Dave Rodman is. The hardest part of what he does is that he empties his brain after each race and refills it with new names, numbers and colors and then rinses and repeats. What I was hoping for in the stretch was that Corinthianna would pull away and win by 10 lengths but as it got closer and closer to the finish line it was a three horse race and I didn’t recognize two of them. My heart was starting to pump so much blood and thinking why did I do this, but it was a blast.”
Race 4-Mark Viviano, WJZ-TV
“It’s exhilarating and happens so quickly. This was the most frazzled thing that I have tried to do. I followed Dave’s advice by keeping it simple. We all see races but there is so much to it and you want to respect the fact that this is a serious endeavor and do it justice. Having spent time with Dave and seeing what he does 40 races a week with all the different horses, colors and jockeys and for him to keep that straight and be second nature is phenomenal.”
Race 5-Bruce Cunningham, WBFF-TV
“I was sweaty, out of breath and just about panic stricken and I am not a new announcer. I don’t see how you do this. My hat’s off to Dave Rodman and the job he does because this is a different ball game. I have done play-by-play for a lot of sports and this wasn’t my first time at the track but the colors are what threw me off. I had three riders wearing red hats and I couldn’t see the numbers when they were coming down the stretch. I don’t think this will be a new career for me.”
“I had a great time but it was over before it starts which was the hardest thing. I have been doing sports radio for all these years but you are not calling something that is happening, you are doing it at your pace. This thing happens and you have to be reacting to it, at least with five horses I had a fighting chance. I used to come out here two days a week in the 80’s. The first time I ever came out here I met Howard Cosell in 1985. I love Pimlico and what the Preakness stands for and am appreciative I had a chance to do this. It was fun.”
Race 7-Steve Kolbe, CBS Radio
“It was a great time and is a lot harder than it looks. Drawing a short five-furlong test on the turf makes it more difficult because once they bunched up around that far turn, I started to lose sight of the horses so it was all about knowing the silks. I was able to pick them back up at the quarter-pole and down the stretch. I had a smile on my face the entire time and would love to do it again.”
Race 10-Jim Hunter, Baltimore Orioles
“It is intriguing how Dave learns the silk colors and all the names of the horses within a span of five minutes. What I found to be a challenge was the race was so close and they were so clogged together it was difficult to see the silks as they came down the stretch. It was a great idea and I would do it again. I am sure all the other guys had fun as well. I am anxious to see if Viviano thought he did better than me.”
About Pimlico Race Course
Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.