June 16, 2011
Jennifer Hoyt, Media Relations Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org, (501) 623-4411 ex. 497
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Thursday, June 16, 2011) – Terry Wallace, who completed his 37th consecutive season as track announcer at Oaklawn Park in 2011, will retire from the announcer’s booth in advance of the 2012 meet.
“After serious consideration in recent weeks, the time has come to end my run as Oaklawn’s track announcer,” Wallace said. “It is time for a new person to have the same opportunities I’ve been given here. While I still have good health, I can continue to be a member of the Oaklawn family in other roles. I’m very thankful for Charles Cella, my fellow employees and the people of my adopted home of Arkansas for the respect and love I’ve been shown through all my terrific years as the Voice of Oaklawn.”
During his tenure, Wallace became one of the most recognizable voices in Arkansas, calling such greats as champions Temperence Hill, Sunny’s Halo, Victory Gallop, Smarty Jones, and Afleet Alex and Horse of the Years Cigar, Azeri, Curlin, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. He is known to all horse racing fans, especially those from the state, for his trademark “Here they come into the short stretch of the mile run” and “Picking ‘em up and laying ‘em down.”
Wallace set a record of 20,000 consecutive race calls following the third race on March 25, 2010, and ended his streak after the fourth race on January 28, 2011 with 20,191 calls without a miss. On the day he hit 20,000, Hot Springs Mayor, Mike Bush, declared it “Terry Wallace Day” and he also received congratulatory letters from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and former President Bill Clinton, who grew up on Hot Springs. In 2011, the acclaims kept coming for Wallace, who was named Arkansas H.B.P.A. “Man of the Year” and during the most recent Arkansas legislative session, a proclamation was written declaring him the official voice of Arkansas.
"Racing is incredibly popular in Arkansas and for multiple generations the sound of horse racing and Oaklawn has been Terry Wallace," said Oaklawn President Charles Cella. “His identifiable enthusiasm helped make Oaklawn so popular to millions of fans across America.”
Oaklawn will conduct a search for a new announcer, although no timeframe has been set. The track resumes live racing January 13, 2012 for a 56-day meet.