A Star is Born: Maryland Tracks Auditioning Replacements for Track Handicapper
Frank Carulli, the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst since January 2002, will be leaving the company at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet, which ends June 8. Carulli will be relocating to Las Vegas.
Next week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, the Maryland Jockey Club will have four guest handicappers vie for Carulli's on-air role as the Pimlico and Laurel television host.
“We are sorry to see Frank leave,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “He is an extremely hard-worker who takes pride in his work, especially establishing the morning line where he is one of the best in the business. He gave us a year's notice that he was leaving which has given us the chance to look long and hard for a replacement. We thought this format would be the best way to determine the winner.”
The four contenders are: Ryan Fogelsonger (March 20), Dylan Smith (March 21), Jackie Savoye (March 22) and Gabby Gaudet (March 23).
Fogelsonger, 31, won 1,303 races as a jockey and captured eight riding titles at the Maryland tracks. The 2002 Eclipse Award winning apprentice has not ridden since early November when he suffered a concussion during a spill.
Smith, 24, has worked for trainer Dickie Small since graduating from Kennedy High School in the Washington D.C. suburbs in 2006.
Savoye is currently an assistant trainer for Dale Capuano. The 25-year-old South River High School graduate did on-air work at Gulfstream Park and Monmouth Park two years ago.
Gaudet, the daughter of longtime conditioners Eddie and Linda Gaudet, is finishing up her final semester at Towson University, where she is studying mass communication and graphic design.
“It will be an interesting contest,” added Chuckas. “Ryan was a good interview when he was riding but can he transition that to the set? Jackie and Gabby seem to be naturals in front of the camera, while Dylan is an astute handicapper. With their backgrounds, all four can provide unique perspectives while trying to pick winners. We want to see who steps up and takes the position.”
Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, who has co-hosted the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with track announcer Dave Rodman since the fall 2011, will take over Carulli's morning line duties beginning with the Laurel fall meet in September. Feustle has been the morning line maker at Colonial Downs since 2003.