Travis No Longer A ‘Rolling’ Stone: Track Announcer Reduces Workload, Gives Up NYRA Gig

by | 10.18.2017 | 5:22pm
Travis Stone is the track announcer at Churchill Downs.

Track announcer Travis Stone, who for the last three years has shared announcing duties at Aqueduct through the winter with John Imbriale, has decided not to return to the New York Racing Association this year.

Stone, who is the regular announcer at Churchill Downs, told the Daily Racing Form that he was growing tired of moving so often.

“When I got back from Aqueduct this spring, I felt like I was burned out from moving around,” Stone told the Form earlier this week.

“I thought by the end of summer I'd feel better about it. But as summer wound down, I really didn't feel better about it. I sought the advice of friends and ultimately decided to take a break from moving around every few months.”

The New York Racing Association employs three announcers – Larry Collmus, Imbriale and Stone. Collmus handles April through October, Imbriale is full time in November, then Imbriale and Stone split duties through the winter. Stone also has set the morning line at Saratoga the past two years.

David O'Rourke, NYRA's vice president and chief revenue officer, told the DRF that the organization would “explore all our options” regarding the hiring of a winter announcer and a Saratoga morning linemaker.

 

  • J

    ANYONE OTHER THAN COLLMUS.
    I MUTE THE SOUND WHEN HE COMES ON. BORING.

    • Cuffdaddy

      I agree. In any stakes race his call at the wire with the excecption of photo finishes is: “And (insert horse name) wins the (insert stakes name)” the bigger the race the louder he yells.

  • kuzdzal

    Isn’t it about time to give John Imbriale a regular spot calling the races during the winter? He’s certainly put in his time, is a known quantity and isn’t likely to cite fatigue during the colder months.

    • Bryan Langlois

      I don’t know if he wants the job full time like that. He also does a lot of the production work as well for NYRA

    • NYC KID

      He retired a few years ago, only came back to work PT. I believe.
      A very nice man, he also said hello when I say him in passing.
      Love his double “AA” for Angel Arroyo.

  • cigar1872

    hope they get a new m/l maker at toga

  • Big G

    boy the sure dont make’em the way they used too,, burned out sitting down on his a$$ watching races all day is hard work ? I used too work for my dad in the sanitation business , 12 or 14 hour days 6 days a week ,, in all kinds of weather, good luck asking for a Extra day off ,,

    • really?

      this guy is a spectacular handicapper. he could also quit calling Churchill and not make a dent in the bankroll. Get it garbage boy?

      • Big G

        still has no clue what it means to do a hard days work ,, or work for that matter,, plus he was not that great picking 2-1 shots in 5 horse fields at aqueduct over the winter months ,,the big A TONY STABILE HAS MORE KNOWLEDGE THAN THIS FELLOW,, also my family has made a lot of money from the carting Industry , and trust me we are thankful for picking up your waste everyday ,,, yours truly Garbage boy….

        • FastBernieB

          I can’t help wonder if “really” would be slinging terms like “garbage boy” in a face to face meeting. Pretty safe to do it in mom’s basement though. Working 12 hour days in a demanding business builds the kind of work ethic that enables success. Really.

          • Big G

            thanks brother ,, yes it was tough working for family , but it made me the man i am today 4 kids 6 grand kids, a loving wife, great respect for man and country, a summer home in lake George,, thank you fast bernie B GOOD LUCK TO YOU.

    • Judoon

      You sound jealous that he has a nice job instead of a smelly, low-prestige crap job.

      • Big G

        dear judoon ,, jealous of what ? you have not a clue about waste management , my friend ,,and i will leave it at that ,,,

  • mongo98

    Paul Lo Duca could bring some excitement to NYRA race calls. Paul can do anything and do it well.

    • Up the track Jack

      Except pick a winner!

    • Minnesota Kid

      absolute nonsense.

    • Mike Oliveto

      He’s better off sitting next to Todd Schrup, two human mute buttons.

      • Michael Zeisler

        Agree a thousand percent

    • Michael Zeisler

      Has absolutely no experience calling races plus how many times would he say I get it during the call he sure uses that phrase enough when he’s on the air

    • Monrovia Damon

      A couple years ago when Santa Anita had a competition to replace Denman, they brought in a very talented caller from the UK named David Fitzgerald. He was fantastic and I wrote his name down to remember it and keep an eye out for future. If he gets a shot over here in the States I’m sure he’d do great.

      • SandiNisson

        Yes, he would be great!

  • Nytex

    Tony Calo

  • Andrew Mollica

    Boy that NYRA employee experience sure must be a great one!
    Dont you think?

    • Michael Zeisler

      I know you didn’t work for them Drew but you made a pretty good living on their property

    • Big G

      dear drew , what is your axe to grind with NYRA , you are a respected agent and you make a living off of the track ,, why dont you be a part of the solution with new Idea’s and ways to make racing better , instead of condescending remarks and negative comments about NYRA , racing could always use bright mines and sharp people to solve it’s problems ,, and im more than sure you would help . yours truly big g.

      • Little H

        So why did Jason Blewitt get the ax ? NYRA isn’t a good company to work for period.

        • Big G

          yes i’ve have posted that same comment ,, jason was very good at his position and for a young guy he knew about racing ,, but as far as why NYRA let him go ? i dont know .. but i’ve been dealing with NYRA for over 30 years and they do try to help and promote racing to the fullest ,, it’s the cuomo’s who dislike racing and constantly take everything away from the tracks and never do enough to help,, Mario was terrible for racing and andrew followed in daddies step,,

        • Andrew Mollica

          Look at the list of carnage, good people who have not only been escorted out, but whose lives (some of them who worked ther for decades and were dedicated to NY racing) thrown away like yeterday’s trash. The facts speak for themselves and those I have tried to help, some have never recovered. A sad commentary as far back as the Harvey Pack days! Frank Dwyer, shall I keep going? Mike Lakow? Many many more! Just saying.

          • Tinky

            Gee, Drew, welcome to the world of business, and especially American style.

            Not that it doesn’t warrant criticism – it does. But NYRA, and CDI, etc., are simply reflecting today’s sadly misguided, typical business ethos.

  • ThoroughbredWriter

    New m/l maker? Jeff Carle, John Pricci and Tom Amello come to mind… :)

  • mike boyle

    He’s a very good announcer. Much more low key than monster ego Collmus.

    • jamie

      Monster ego? Sounds like u don’t even know him

  • ThoroughbredWriter

    How about a woman?? Victoria Shaw, the great Australian race announcer, would bring a little brilliance to the announcer’s box. :)

    • Insider Trading

      Last thing we need is a woman announcer. It has already ruined football games. Let the pretty girls wear their sun dresses and look hot in the paddock.

      • ThoroughbredWriter

        Insider trading: how’s the weather there, in the 19th Century? Ring-ring-ring! It’s the Stone age calling, Insider, it’s for you–they want their misogyny back.

      • caroline webster

        You did not really say that did you?seriously?

      • Paul Braus

        hope your knuckles aren’t too scratched up from scraping the pavement.

      • greg

        as he types from mom’s basement

      • SandiNisson

        Certainly didn’t work at Golden Gate

        • Get real

          The golden gate disaster is what he’s referring to. Was horrible calls. I agree. One race female announcer said horse was home free and sure enough was not. I was disgusted at the race call. And yes Caroline Webster he did say that!

          • Xbx

            I saw that I think. It was pitiful. And I just so happened to have a horse that was gone and got mowed down as she says the horse cannot be caught. Despicable.

      • longshot

        Hey don’t knock a woman announcer. You could end up with the clown at Belterra Park

    • Monrovia Damon

      If you can call a good race, I don’t care if you’re man, woman, canine, or martian :)

  • P

    Every job Travis has landed is b/c of Larry and he is like a lost puppy shadowing his every single move. Travis also tries is best to sound just like Durkin and frankly it’s sickening!

    No one wants to work at AquaDump anymore, but I bet Travis will fill in at Belmont OR Saratoga given the chance.

    Here is a novel concept….why can’t Larry call year round with a few weeks off just like everyone else gets working on USA soil. Oh that’s right, because he is the most overrated announcer out there today.

  • Insider Trading

    This will be removed from the censored Paulick report but Travis prob wanted to spend more time in handicapping tourneys. Which when I read he sets the morning lines at Saratoga puzzles me how he is allowed to participate in handicapping tourneys that involved Saratoga. If there was Horse racing insider trading I think this would be a case. Ive played and seen him in tourneys the last couple years, even on days that he is calling, which seems odd. Now you can remove my true but negative post on someone as this site does.

  • Monrovia Damon

    Good for him for knowing when to whittle it down a bit. Heavy traveling and constantly being on the go can wear anyone down.

  • Rufusous

    As far as Travis stepping away from NYRA, one should not lose sight of the money angle, besides the too much moving around issue, which is what Travis says. Churchill spent big money hiring almost 100 new personnel to “upgrade” their Twin Spires ADW, most probably having felt a direct impact from NYRA’s NY Bets endeavor. Remember horse racing is also a business. Think Churchill Downs, Inc (a publicly traded company) isn’t competitive, where it business is concerned? Travis could have been persuaded with “a nice salary boost to do the right thing”, huh?

  • Turf Paradise Tommy

    Why is it that NYRA doesn’t appreciate Johnny I? Very good, solid announcer. Just give him the winter job and let him be back up Larry. Seems like obvious solution. And a chimpanzee could make the morning line.

  • KYFan2

    Travis is passionate about the sport from many angles. There’s no need for some of the downright mean comments on this blog. I happen to think he’s an excellent announcer, If you disagree, either mute the sound or provide constructive comments for improvement. Frankly, I find Collmus boring except when he rises to the occasion on big race days. So everyone is entitled to their opinion, but without shaming these individuals whose job -face it- is very difficult.

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