Trevor Denman, the Voice of Santa Anita Park for more than 30 years, will take time off in the month of June to “freshen-up” before returning to call the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on Saturday, June, 28, which will highlight the track's closing weekend racing action. In his absence, Frank Mirahmadi, who calls full-time at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas and in the summer at the majority of California's Northern Fairs, will “pinch hit” for Denman for 10 racing days, beginning Thursday, June 12 through Friday, June 27.
A native of Durban, South Africa, Denman, 61, began his illustrious career at Santa Anita in October, 1983, and has since become synonymous with championship racing at The Great Race Place. He will call races at Santa Anita through Belmont Stakes weekend, June 7 & 8 and will then travel with his wife Robin to their 110 acre farm in Minnesota until returning for closing weekend.
“We have about 40 young calves that have to be attended to,” said Denman. “This is something Robin and I have been doing for 17 years now, and we love it, plus the time away really does serve to freshen me up. That said, I'm looking forward to coming back for closing weekend and with Game On Dude pointing for the Gold Cup on June 28, you know it's going to be a heckuva race.”
Mirahmadi, 46, a native of Los Angeles who is regarded as one of America's top race callers and who possesses an incredible sense of humor and ability to imitate a large number of celebrities and fellow announcers, will be fulfilling a lifelong dream beginning June 12.
“Trevor Denman is the greatest announcer of all-time,” said Mirahmadi. “Growing up here in L.A., I was so privileged to have been able to hear guys like Harry Henson, Dave Johnson and Trevor. My career has been inspired by his brilliance and he's been a great help to me in improving my craft. It is the ultimate honor to be selected to fill-in for him.”
Mirahmadi considers his ability to imitate legendary sportscaster Marv Albert, the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas as the best in his vast arsenal.
Following closing day of Santa Anita's Spring Meet on June 29, Denman will again be idle until opening day at Del Mar on July 17.
“We look forward to Frank coming in while Trevor is away and we think it's going to be a lot of fun,” said Santa Anita President Tom Ludt. “We are blessed to have Trevor on a daily basis and along with Frank, we look forward to having him back to call the Gold Cup here on closing weekend.”
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