The longtime voice of NYRA, the Breeders’ Cup and the Triple Crown–Tom Durkin–won’t stay ‘retired’ for long. He’s going to join fractional ownership brokerage West Point Thoroughbreds as an owner and other as of yet unspecified roles. Durkin retired from announcing on August 31, 2014.
West Point Thoroughbreds sells fractional shares of race horses and serves as their management. They’ve produced a number of Grade 1 winners including Awesome Gem, Dream Rush, Flashy Bull, Irish Smoke, Lear’s Princess, and Macho Again. West Point said that Durkin “will work directly with West Point founder and president Terry Finley and chief operating officer Tom Bellhouse in business development and partnership relations”. Durkin is a longtime owner of standardbred horses. As part of his new gig with West Point Thoroughbreds he’ll get an equity interest in the company’s runners.
West Point Thoroughbreds manages equine portfolios for nearly 400 partners and has a current stable of more than 80 horses. West Point’s home offices are in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.with regional offices in New York City, New Jersey, Kentucky, and California. The company was founded in 1991.
Durkin sounded happy to get back into the equine racing game with West Point: “I’ve known Terry and Tom for years and admire the class and integrity that West Point brings to the game. They are the gold standard in Thoroughbred partnerships and I am very excited to join their partnership and work with the team.”
Durkin along with Trevor Denman is one of the definitive voices among race track announcers. He began serving as NYRA’s announcer in 1990. He worked on the Breeders’ Cup, the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown series. He’s called eight failed Triple Crown bids during his career. He’ll be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award at the Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park on Saturday night.
A large fan base of Durkin fans was pleased to learn of his new appointment and took to horse racing message boards and video clips of races he’d called on YouTube to express their support and well wishes. A native of Chicago, Illinois the 64 year old Durkin called races for a total of 42 years.