Del Mar announcer Trevor Denman to make return

Television host Conan O'Brien, right, poses for a photo with track announcer Trevor Denman
Long-time track announcer Trevor Denman poses with television host Conan O’Brien after helping him call a horse race. Denman will return to Del Mar after taking last year off.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
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Trevor Denman will return to the announcing booth at Del Mar when its summer season kicks off July 16 after missing last season for the first time since 1984.

Denman chose to stay on his 500-acre farm in Minnesota last year out of concern for the coronavirus. Larry Collmus, who currently calls the Triple Crown races and Breeders’ Cup for NBC, filled in and quickly established a presence in the Del Mar booth. He recently took down from his Twitter account that he was the Del Mar announcer, signaling the return of Denman.

The 68-year-old Denman informed track officials he was coming back by email saying: “We are very keen to get back to Del Mar.”


Denman was the main race caller in Southern California for decades, calling Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and even the Los Angeles County Fair at Pomona. Hollywood Park and Pomona went away and Denman continued to call at Santa Anita until 2015.

He will always be remembered for his call in 2009 when the mare Zenyatta came from last to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

“Zenyatta has a lot of ground to make up. Zenyatta, if she wins this, she’ll be a super horse.

“She’s starting to pick them off, though. Zenyatta going to hook to the outside. Meanwhile, Colonel John, Summer Bird in the red cap.

“Zenyatta comes to the outside. Zenyatta coming flying on the grandstand side. Gio Ponti on the inside. Summer Bird is right there.

“This is un-be-lievable! Zenyatta, what a performance! One we’ll never forget. Looked impossible.”


Denman also will return for the short fall meeting at Del Mar, which will include the Breeders’ Cup. NBC will use Collmus and the track will use Denman.