SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that John Imbriale will retire as NYRA’s full-time track announcer at the end of 2022. Although he will step away from the microphone at Saratoga Race Course and Aqueduct Racetrack, Imbriale will continue to serve as primary track announcer at Belmont Park in 2023 and beyond.
Imbriale’s 43-year tenure with NYRA dates to 1979 when he won a New York Daily News contest, which gave him the opportunity to call a race and work with the NYRA press office. In 1990, the Queens, New York native became Tom Durkin’s backup. Along the way, he took on other responsibilities at NYRA, working with Harvey Pack on the popular Inside Racing program, and in a variety of roles within NYRA TV.
Imbriale has served as NYRA’s full-time track announcer since January 2020, the latest in a line of distinguished New York race callers including the likes of Tom Durkin, Dave Johnson and Fred “Cappy” Caposella.
“NYRA is the pinnacle of this wonderful sport, and these last three years have been filled with incredible moments and races that I will never forget,” said Imbriale. “I’d like to thank the fans at Saratoga for truly embracing me, and I look forward to being in the booth the rest of the year and at Belmont Park moving forward.”
Frank Mirahmadi, the track announcer at Santa Anita Park since 2018 and Monmouth Park since 2015, will take over the race calling duties at Saratoga Race Course in 2023. A Los Angeles native, Mirahmadi is well known to racing fans in New York through his work at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course in recent years. In addition, his prior experience includes calling races at Oaklawn Park, Louisiana Downs, Golden Gate Fields and Hialeah Park. Mirahmadi, 54, will relinquish the race calling duties at Monmouth Park and remain as track announcer at Santa Anita.
“I felt the history and tradition of Saratoga Race Course the moment I entered the gates for the first time 25 years ago,” said Mirahmadi. “It is a magical place, and I am beyond grateful to follow in the footsteps of John Imbriale next summer at the Spa.”
Chris Griffin, who has served as track announcer at Parx Racing since 2021, will expand on his previous experience at NYRA and become the primary track announcer at Aqueduct Racetrack beginning in 2023. Accordingly, Griffin will call the winter, spring and fall meets at the Big A.
Griffin, 41, previously worked as track announcer at Sam Houston Race Park, Gulfstream Park West and Portland Meadows. A native of Santa Monica, California, Griffin was backup announcer to Imbriale at the 2021/22 Aqueduct winter meet.
“Aqueduct Racetrack plays a central role in New York’s thoroughbred racing ecosystem, and it was a privilege to be able to call races there last winter,” said Griffin. “I thank NYRA for this opportunity and can’t wait to get back to the Big A to begin this new role.”
The 2022 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Monday, September 5.
Due to the construction of vehicular and pedestrian tunnels designed to provide access to the Belmont Park infield, the 2022 Belmont Park fall meet will be held at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 28-day Belmont at the Big A fall meet will begin on Thursday, September 15 and run through Sunday, October 30. Headlined by four Grade 1 races and six “Win and You’re In” qualifiers to the Breeders’ Cup in November at Keeneland, Belmont at the Big A will feature 23 graded events among 41 stakes worth $9.9 million in total purses. Live racing will be conducted Thursday-Sunday.
For additional information, visit NYRA.com.
Saratoga Race Course Press Release
Photo: John Imbriale, (NYRA Photo)