Michael Wrona, one of the world's top race-callers, has been named the full-time track announcer at Los Alamitos Race Course starting with the opening night of the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred season on Friday, December 27, 2019.
Wrona will follow the longtime voice of Los Alamitos Ed Burgart, who is retiring from the announcer's booth at the Orange County track at the end of the current meet on Sunday, December 15. Prior to assuming full time duties, Wrona will call the two-week Los Alamitos Winter Meet which starts on December 5.
The 53-year-old Australian-born Wrona has called races at many of the top racetracks in America. In doing so, Wrona has earned a reputation as one of the game's most entertaining and accurate announcers and his signature call of “Racing!” as horses fly out of the gate is among the best-known in the sport.
“It's a great honor to be selected as Ed Burgart's successor at Los Alamitos,” Wrona said. “However, it's also a somewhat daunting task because Ed personifies Los Al and is truly irreplaceable. I am humbled that (Los Alamitos Race Course owner) Dr. Ed Allred has placed his trust in me, and I shall do my utmost to represent Los Alamitos with class and distinction.”
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Wrona began calling races in Australia at the age of 17. The first track at which he called was Kilcoy near the Queensland capital. He also called harness and greyhound races around Brisbane until traveling to the United States to serve as Hollywood Park's announcer in 1990. In addition to Hollywood Park, Wrona's impressive resume of tracks includes Santa Anita, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields and the Fresno and Sonoma County Fairs in California, plus Chicago's Arlington Park, Retama and Lone Star Park in Texas, the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona Downs in Prescott, and just this April he opened Century Mile in Edmonton, Alberta. Wrona also called the final three days of the LA County Fair Meet at Los Alamitos in 2014 and the entire Los Alamitos Summer Meet in 2015. Wrona will call races at the famed Kentucky Downs from August 31 to September 12.
Wrona has also called some of the most historic Thoroughbred races during his announcing career. He was on the microphone for the Arlington Citation Challenge at Arlington Park in 1996 in which Cigar won a record tying 16th consecutive race. He also called the race that saw Laffit Pincay Jr pass Bill Shoemaker for most career wins by a jockey on December 10, 1999 at Hollywood Park. On November 11, 2008, while announcing at Churchill Downs, Wrona called all seven of Julien Leparoux's winners, a feat that made the jockey only the second to do so in a single day in the 134-year history of Churchill Downs. As Leparoux was crossing the finish line for his fourth straight victory, Wrona famously said: “I tell you, he'd win on a broomstick!”.
You can follow Michael Wrona on Twitter at @Michael_Wrona. For Los Alamitos news and notes on Twitter and Instagram go to @losalracing. For more information, please call 714-820-2690.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.