The Kentucky Derby will have a new track announcer for the 2015 race. Churchill Downs has hired Travis Stone as the new track announcer. He will begin his new job at the start of the 2015 spring meet. Former announcer Larry Collmus left after one year to call races for the New York Racing Association.
Horse racing is a very tradition laden sport and that extends to the track announcer. Churchill Downs has had seven previous track announcers in its history. Travis Stone will be number eight. Stone has been hired as the full time track announcer at the iconic racing facility and will become the ‘voice of the Kentucky Derby’ starting in 2015. Stone has served as a guest announcer at Churchill in the past and has also served in a guest announcer capacity at Suffolk Downs, Calder Race Course and Golden Gate Fields.
Stone is the third announcer to work at Churchill Downs in the past three years. Larry Collmus left after one year, replacing Mark Johnson. Collmus had a number of impressive announcing gigs already including his work as the race caller for NBC Sports coverage of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup. Johnson served for five years and had the distinction of becoming the first British announcer to call the Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs is hoping that Stone will become a ‘fixture’ at the track. For his part, Stone is highly enthused about his new role: “It is truly an honor to become the new voice of Churchill Downs and to join a community that shares my passion and enthusiasm for this wonderful sport,” said Stone. “The opportunity to call the Kentucky Derby and all of the prestigious races at Churchill Downs is a dream come true. I am already counting the days!”
The Churchill Downs Spring Race Meet will begin on April 25, 2015 and run through late June. The Kentucky Derby will be held on May 2, 2015 with the Kentucky Oaks taking place on May 1, 2015. Stone will also be working the Fall and Winter meets at Churchill Downs as part of his new assignment as track announcer.