Durkin to host guided tours of Hall of Fame

TwinSpires Staff

June 27th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Retired race caller Tom Durkin, one of the most beloved and vibrant personalities in the history of American Thoroughbred racing, will lead personalized tours of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame throughout the Saratoga meeting this summer from July 22 through September 5.

Tours will be from 11 a.m. to noon (EDT) most race days with a cost of $20 for Museum members and $25 for non-members (includes Museum admission). Tours will be limited to 12 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Each visitor on the Durkin-led tours will receive a complimentary autographed picture of the famed race caller.

"We're thrilled to be able to offer these unique tours led by Tom Durkin," said Chris Dragone, the Museum's director. "Tom has a one-of-a-kind gift for telling stories about racing and he is ideal to help bring to life the great history of Thoroughbred racing and showcase all the wonderful aspects of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame."

Durkin retired from calling races at the conclusion of the 2014 Saratoga meet after a 43-year career. A Chicago native, Durkin studied theatre at St. Norbert College and began calling races at county fairs in Wisconsin during the summer of 1971. In 1975, he moved on to ply his trade at a string of small tracks, including Cahokia Downs, Balmoral Park, Quad City Downs and Miles Park, before landing the job at Miami's Hialeah Park in 1981. Three years later, he was hired as the announcer for the Breeders' Cup, a job he held until 2005, and gained further fame calling the Triple Crown races for a decade beginning in 2001. Durkin was the regular track announcer at the New York Racing Association tracks from 1990 until his retirement.

Tour reservations can be made in advance by calling the Museum's membership office at (518) 584-044 ext. 109. There will be no Durkin-led tours on Tuesdays or the following dates: Aug. 10, 12, 17, 20 and 27.

(Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame)