Fairgrounds Racetrack: Profile of Race Caller John G. Dooley

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D.S. Williamson

December 3rd, 2017

The Fairgrounds employs one of the most unique race-callers in the United States, John. G. Dooley. Dooley, per an article from Keith Hoffman written in 2014, states that he first started calling races in 1991 when Thistledowns, in John's words, "took a chance on me".

Dooley is the regular race-caller at both the Fairgrounds and Arlington Park. His unique voice inflections can't be missed. Check out the discussion that Twinspires had with John Dooley on Turf Talk a few years ago. Then, check out how John called this year's Arlington Million.

Turf Talk:  Discussion with John G. Dooley

It's obvious based on the discussion that John loves horse racing. It's his passion. It's obvious when he speaks about it. It's obvious when he makes race calls. John G. Dooley is a horse racing guy. It's what he does.

You can hear John's unique race-calling voice in the discussion. When it's go time, when John calls a race, his voice becomes one of the most memorable of all race-calling voices.

2017 Arlington Million

The 2017 Arlington Million was a tricky race to call. Deauville sure appeared like a winner until jockey Joel Rosario got Beach Patrol going at the perfect time to get past Deauville. There are a couple of things I always appreciate about Dooley's race-calling.

First, he's as excited calling the Arlington Million as he is calling a $10,000 claimer. He just loves what he does. It shows every time he makes a race-call. Second, John G. Dooley smoothly transitions from first, to second, to third in every single call. He made sure he knew the two horses that battled it out for third, Enterprising and Deauville.

I wanted to add one more video of John. This happened about 3-years ago. He and trainer Michael Stidham did the bucket challenge for ALS.org. As horseplayers, we tend to think of everyone involved in  thoroughbred racing from our point-of-view, odds, Brisnet files, bankrolls, exotic wagers, etc.

Sometimes, we forget that human beings are a part of the thoroughbred racing industry. I know that I have at times. But, good human beings like John and Michael Stidham are a part of the industry. They run the industry.

Hopefully, we'll hear John call races for many, many years to come.