My 5 Favorite Santa Anita Trevor Denman Calls
Trevor Denman is retiring from calling races at Santa Anita. On Dec. 26, for the first time in what seems like forever, Trevor Denman won't call races at the Great Race Place. It's difficult to explain how important Denman is to many of us who perfected our craft at Santa Anita. I used to live in Arizona. I'd frequent Turf Paradise often. Naturally, the big track that my brother and I bet was Santa Anita. Starting in 1998, the year that I moved to Los Angeles, my father and brother would make yearly trips to Santa Anita for the Santa Anita Derby before I'd go to Turf Paradise and bet on the races with my father and brother on Derby Day.
Denman's calls became etched in our minds. My friend Kent, who lived in Los Angeles for a number of years and who still makes trips to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup, and my brother Eddie became experts (or try to!) at mimicking Trevor's signature race calls. To the three of us, Trevor is Santa Anita. To us, he's as big of a celebrity in horse racing as any of the trainers, jockeys, or horses. That's not to say that we won't enjoy Frank Mirahmadi's and Michael Wrona's race calling. Oh, we will. And, there's always Del Mar, but with Trevor and Santa Anita now consigned to history here are my five favorite calls he made at The Great Race Place.
1. 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic, Zenyatta
"This is unbelievable! What a performance! One we will never forget!" Without a doubt, my most memorable race call from Trevor is the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic when Mike Smith switched Zenyatta from the inside to the outside. She took off like a rocket in the middle of the stretch to run past Gio Ponti as if he were standing still. It's one of the greatest performances in the history of thoroughbred racing.
2. 1997 Santa Anita Derby, Free House over Silver Charm
3. 2015 San Antonio Stakes, Shared Belief over California Chrome
"What a thriller this one is! Shared Belief has him! And, Shared Belief just exuding class!" Oh, what could have been if Shared Belief hadn't passed away. Shared Belief and California Chrome battled in the 2014 San Antonio Invitational Stakes with Shared Belief showing that he was, at least at that time, better than 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome. 2016 was setting up as what could have been a great year for the Shared Belief-California Chrome rivalry if not for Shared Belief's untimely passing.
4. 2001 Santa Anita Handicap, Tiznow
5. 1989 Santa Anita Derby - Sunday Silence
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