A bit of news from the horse racing world today.  Yes, we really do cover it all at AA.  Tom Durkin, who has called every Triple Crown race for the last decade on network television, will not be announcing any Triple Crown races for NBC this year or in the near future.  He wasn’t fired, or phased out of the broadcast.  No, Durkin left on his own accord… because of the stress associated with broadcasting the races.  From Daily Racing Form

“It’s always been stressful,” said Durkin, who was prescribed Inderal, a beta blocker, to deal with the anxiety.

Looking to alleviate that stress from his life, Durkin will no longer be the voice of the Triple Crown, deciding not to seek a renewal of his contract with NBC Sports, with whom he has been affiliated for 27 years. Durkin, who has called the last 30 Triple Crown races on network television, will continue to work as the announcer at the New York Racing Association’s three tracks – Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga. Durkin is under contract with NYRA through the fall of 2015.

Who knew that announcing horse races could be so stressful?  It’s not one of those things that easily comes to mind, but I can imagine that having an entire national television broadcasting career come down to a few minutes each year would be very stressful.  It’s unfortunate because I always enjoyed Durkin’s calls.  He was especially fantastic at the Belmont when so many horses like Real Quiet or Smarty Jones fell just short of the Triple Crown.  The following video though may be the best horse racing call of all-time, and it’s from Tom Durkin..

By the way, the rumored name to replace Durkin according to DRF is Larry Collmus from Monmouth Park.  It’s ok if that name doesn’t sound familiar, but I guarantee you’ve heard him announce a race before…

Durkin steps down as Triple Crown announcer, citing stress – Daily Racing Form 

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.