Gone Too Soon: Remembering Luke Kruytbosch

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Luke Kruytbosch Luke Kruytbosch

Sunday, July 14, marked the fifth anniversary of the passing of Luke Kruytbosch, the track announcer at Churchill Downs and Turf Paradise.

In a recent blog post, fellow track announcer and longtime friend of Kruytbosch’s, Jason Beem, recalls some fond memories of Luke, and how much the sport lost with the talented Kruytbosch’s passing.

Read more at Jason Beem.com

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  • John F. Greenhaw

    My favorite Luke Kruybosch story:

    Several years ago Luke was calling a low-level claiming race with a field of broken-down nags and apparently only one in the race was somewhat healthy. After blistering through fractions of 25.4 and 51 flat, the leader, who’s name escapes me, opened up on the rest of the field by around 20 lengths when Luke said:

    “He is moving like a tremendous machine!”

    Luke got so tickled with himself that he cracked-up laughing!

    • starzee46

      Very real guy he was.

  • starzee46

    I loved him. Gosh 5 years, it seems like yesterday.

  • ryan driscoll

    Brother Luke was a true credit to the human race. Never a bad day, never met a stranger, would give you the shirt off his back or the beer in his hand.

  • Bobf

    I went to the Derby in 2005 the year Giacomo won. The thing I remember is that in the last race on Derby day all of my friends and I had the winner and then there was an inquiry that seemed to go on for too long. I remember Luke coming on and saying, “Results of the stewards review…………………………………………………………………………………………no change!!!” he just wanted to add that dramatic flare and held us hostage for about 10 seconds to announce the results. It was funny.

    Since I’m from California, I thought he was great at Hollywood the years he was there.

    It’s a shame he had to pass away so young. Too bad he didn’t take better care of himself.

  • Guy Fleegman1

    Such a tragic loss…RIP Luke.

  • SusanKayne

    Sweet, sweet man……thank you for remembering him publicly <3.

  • Jason Beem

    The best part of writing this blog story has been hearing everyone else’s great memories of one of the best guys I ever met. Keep sharing the stories everyone!

    • menu

      It is kind of awesome!

  • David

    While at Hollywood couple of ad guys walk in the booth and the encounter led to a Hertz (rental car outfit) commercial that Luke did in excellent fashion. Apparently someone said during production “Luke, you do a great job but that (last) name . . . ever think about changing it?” As only Luke could, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, it IS my name”. He could call a 5/8ths field from front to back three full times as efficiently as anyone before or since, great
    voice/diction and could drink you off any beer stool anywhere anytime. He was very bright and simply one great guy. I miss him a lot.

  • Leo M.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Luke at Sunland Park. He called every race whether it was a lower claiming for stakes race the same. What a professional and neat man. RIP

  • Bymany

    I can’t remember a time when speaking with Luke did not move me up several lengths. He was great for the sport, and gone far too soon.

    • Don Reed

      Wonderful way of putting it. Thanks!

  • Mike Connors

    I remember sitting in the stands at Bay Meadows or Golden Gate Fields and everyone would get up to watch the upcoming simulcast race that was going to be shown on the TV monitor, but I would just sit there and listen to Luke call the race on the PA system. As Luke called the action you could just visualize the how the race was being run. Terrific race caller.

  • Mark F.

    I was fortunate enough to spend the 2007 Derby (Street Sense won) with Luke. On Oaks morning, he took me to the backside. My cousin Danny took a photo of Luke and me with the Twin Spires in the background. Luke later photo-chopped my face out and put in Queen Elizabeth’s which then became his Christmas card that year. After the Oaks day finished, we went across the street to the VFW – Luke was a rock star there. After several drinks, Luke looked at his watch and said he had to get downtown asap. I asked why and he said he had to give a speech for West Point Thoroughbreds in 10 minutes! There were too many stories to relate from just 3 days – I treasure them now. Luke was very intelligent, compassionate and had one of the quickest wits I’ve met. Hail to you Luke!

  • 7Cents

    Thanks for this article. Luke was one awesome human being, phenomenal race caller as well. I remember shipping in to run one at Ellis Park, it was somewhere around 120 degrees in the shade, with a breeze. I got my horse settled in a friend’s barn and drug my tired, sweaty, bedraggled self up to the frontside for the next day’s Form. Luke was just coming out of the air conditioning, looking crisp and pristine. He never even looked twice at my dusty, dirty, just icky form, he just grabbed me in a big ol’ bear hug and said “”I wondered when you’d get in! I kinda like your horse tomorrow. C’mon, I’m taking you to supper!” LoL. We only ran 4th the next day, but Luke invited the owners up to his roost and showed them around, made them feel like royalty.
    There will never be another like Luke. His loss is still, and may always be, felt keenly.

    • MarshallCassidy

      Super memory, 7cemts.

      You make me wish there more like Luke. But, then, I have since he left!

  • Concerned Observer

    Never met him personally, but what a thrill to hear him call my horses names during a race.
    The day he called one of my mares winning at Ellis was something I will always treasure.

  • Don Reed

    Has it really been FIVE years?!

    You can’t fake these stories. They should name a race TRACK after him, never mind a race.

  • ed burgart

    I’m proud to say Luke was a great human being, along with being a super announcer and terrific friend. I met Luke in 1995 and we remained friends until his untimely death five years ago. I still remember his warm personality and smile, especially the time we fooled everyone at Los Alamitos when we passed the microphone back and forth after each quarter during a 1 1/16-mile Arabian race. My wife and I enjoyed having Luke as a guest at our home in Prescott Valley nearly seven years ago. I can still see the smile on Luke’s face when he, Mike Pegram and I watched the Oklahoma-Nebraska national championship football game in late 2007. RIP my friend.

  • C Hogan

    He was the best race caller since Chick Anderson and he sat in Chick’s chair at Churchill Downs. Luke is my favorite and he is one race caller that would bring out players just to hear his call. I really miss Luke. Off and running.

  • Jesell

    Churchill Downs oughta be ashamed of themselves. They had one of the best racecallers in the country and replaced him with a windbag garbage can.

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