DEL MAR, Calif. – With Trevor Denman again opting to stay home out of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, Del Mar once more has called on his ace substitute – Larry Collmus – to take up the mic at the shore track’s fall race meeting beginning on Saturday, October 31.
The 15-day session, named the Bing Crosby Season in a salute to the track’s founder, will have a Saturday/Sunday opening weekend, then three Friday-thru-Sunday weekends before finishing up with a four-day run keyed on Thanksgiving Thursday (November 26) through to Sunday, November 29.
Denman, Del Mar’s announcer at every meet since 1984, chose to stay at his Minnesota farm this summer instead of working the Del Mar meet in light of fears for himself and his family presented by the virus. He indicated to track officials that he planned to return for the fall stand. In his stead, the nationally prominent race caller Collmus filled in admirably with his sharp calls and enthusiasm shining through over the course of the summer.
“We talked to Trevor right after our summer meet and it was obvious he was torn,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s CEO Joe Harper. “There still was concern about the pandemic and his family, yet he also wanted to keep a commitment he’d made to us. But in the end we told him to stay home and stay safe; he appreciated that.”
Del Mar’s next move was to reconnect with Collmus, the veteran announcer who has called at major race meetings from coast to coast over the past 35 years and who has been NBC television’s voice of the Triple Crown for the last decade. Collmus quickly gave a thumbs up to the idea of returning to the seaside oval for another go-round and was signed on for the fall meet.
“I truly enjoyed calling the races this summer at Del Mar and look forward to the opportunity to return for the Bing Crosby meet,” Collmus said. “It’s such a special place and I’m honored to be asked to come back.”
The seventh Bing Crosby Season, highlighted by 16 stakes and a strong emphasis on high-class turf racing, will see racing begin each day at 12:30 p.m. During the stand, Del Mar will serve as the California host track for the Breeders’ Cup Championships, which will take place on November 6 and 7 at Keeneland in Lexington, KY.
Photo: Larry Collmus. Credit: Benoit Photos