Del Mar announcer Trevor Denman will take summer off because of COVID-19 concerns

Trevor Denman in the Santa Anita press box.
Trevor Denman, shown here in the Santa Anita press box, will not call races at Del Mar this season.
(Wally Skalij / Associated Press)

Trevor Denman, who has called every Del Mar race for 36 years, is taking this summer off and will be replaced by former New York announcer Larry Collmus.

Denman informed Del Mar that because of the COVID-19 pandemic he felt more comfortable staying at his Minnesota farm this summer than coming to the seaside track. The meet opens July 10. Denman, 67, plans to be back for the fall meeting from Oct. 31 to Nov. 29.

“When Trevor told us of his situation, we naturally had to respect what he was feeling,” Josh Rubinstein, chief operating officer and president of Del Mar, said in a news release. “We immediately worked up a short list of possible replacements, and Larry was the man we zeroed in on.”

Let’s recap all the furor over the decision to limit use of the riding crop (i.e. whip) in horse racing in California.


Collmus has a big national profile and has been the television race caller for NBC during the Triple Crown races and the Breeders’ Cup since 2011. The network chooses to use Collmus rather than the local track announcer. Collmus will call Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

Collmus, 53, became available when he couldn’t come to terms with the New York Racing Assn., after his contract expired at the end of last year. Collmus called the races at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga for the past five years.

“It is an unexpected but welcome thrill to be joining the great team at Del Mar this summer,” Collmus said. “I’m very excited to be calling the races at such an amazing and iconic venue for the sport.”

Collmus has called races in California before as a regular at Golden Gate Fields and when the Breeders’ Cup has been at Santa Anita and Del Mar.