Larry Collmus, a 1984 Mount St. Joseph graduate, has been named race caller for Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, beginning with opening night of the season on April 26.
The Derby is May 3.
The 47-year-old Collmus, who started calling races at age 18 at Maryland tracks, will continue as race caller for NBC on its telecasts of the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Collmus succeeds Mark Johnson, the first British announcer to call the Derby.
Along with his television duties at NBC, Collmus currently serves as track announcer for the winter meet at Gulfstream Park and will continue there after he takes on his new post at Churchill Downs in Louisville for the spring, September and fall Meets.
The Maryland native’s first on-track call was in 1985 at Bowie Race Course. Two years later he was hired as the track announcer at Alabama's Birmingham Turf Club, and at 20 was the youngest announcer in the U.S.
NBC hired Collmus to be its voice of the Triple Crown in 2011, a job he dreamed of doing since he was growing up in Ellicott City and watched his first races in Timonium.
“I am both thrilled and honored to become the voice of America's most famous race track,” Collmus said in a statement released by Churchill Downs. "Having called the Kentucky Derby three times for NBC Sports, I have experienced the magical ambience of Derby Day, and can't wait to be a part of that for Churchill Downs. I am looking forward also to becoming a part of this terrific city, which has an incredible passion for our sport.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun