The New York Racing Association announced Jan. 29 it has appointed John Imbriale as its race caller and track announcer effective immediately.
Imbriale succeeds Larry Collmus and follows a long line of legendary New York announcers, including Tom Durkin, Marshall Cassidy, Chic Anderson, Dave Johnson, and Fred Capossela.
“John Imbriale is a central part of the fabric of Thoroughbred racing in New York,” NYRA CEO and president Dave O’Rourke said. “Johnny I’s high level of professionalism and flawless delivery are well known to horseplayers and racing fans, and we congratulate him on becoming the voice of NYRA.
“We would like to thank Larry Collmus for his many contributions to NYRA and wish him the very best as he takes the next step in his career.”
Imbriale’s tenure with NYRA dates to 1979 when he won a New York Daily News contest that gave him the opportunity to call a race and work with the NYRA press office. In 1990, Imbriale became Durkin’s backup and has since been part of NYRA’s race-calling team at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct Racetrack.
Along the way, he took on other responsibilities at NYRA, working with Harvey Pack on the popular “Inside Racing” program. He also worked behind the scenes in a variety of roles within NYRA TV and most recently as NYRA’s director of television production.
“In a sense, this is a job for which I’ve been preparing for years,” said Imbriale, who celebrated his 40th anniversary with NYRA Nov. 5. “I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by incredible race callers during my career. I learned from all of them, and these lessons live with me to this day. I’m humbled by the trust placed in me by NYRA and look forward to calling races for the best fans in the sport.”
“I’d like to thank the New York Racing Association for five great years calling memorable races at these wonderful venues,” Collmus said. “I will certainly miss the people and places that make NYRA so special, especially the passionate racing fans at Saratoga, but it’s the right time for me to move on to the next challenge while continuing my work with NBC Sports.”