Thursday, December 4, 2008
Vic Stauffer has been Hollywood Park's track announcer since April, 2001. In more than 20 years as a track announcer, Stauffer has called races at Detroit Race Course, Gulfstream Park, Hialeah Park, Hawthorne Race Course, The Woodlands, Aksarban, Golden Gate Fields, and the Northern California fairs.
Stauffer is a native of Southern California, no doubt an influence in his unique, relaxed style of race calling. He manages to sound cool and calm, while at the same time emotionally invested in each race -- no easy feat for someone who must call up to 9 or 10 races a day, and more on big stakes days.
During a race, the track announcer has to be able to quickly identify each entrant, having memorized the names of each of the horses and jockeys in the few minutes of the post parade. In addition, he is responsible for a number of various other announcements informing patrons of such things as scratches, rider changes, and special equipment. In this video interview, Stauffer discusses his particular method.
Also in this video, Stauffer reflects on what has become one of racing's best known race calls -- during an earthquake that hit Southern California during Hollywood Park's second race on June 16, 2005. Amazingly, Stauffer never skipped a beat or lost his cool during the race, which ended with, "Pleasant Thunder, Dark Beauty, these two come to the wire in a shaker!" Enjoy!