Tom Harris (born 11 May 1962) is an American announcer and sportscaster specializing in Thoroughbred horse racing. His style of race announcing is often described as traditional with European and American influences that feature his signature phrase "runners away".
Tom Harris was born in Dallas, Texas. He started calling horse races at the age of 19 as an apprentice while still attending college, studying broadcast journalism at Arizona State University. Harris was mentored by Bob Weems, who was the long time renowned voice of Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey and Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona. Though he had announced Greyhound Races at Phoenix Greyhound Park in 1981, he landed his first Horse Race Track Announcer position in 1987 at La Mesa Park in Raton, New Mexico. In the early to mid-1990s Harris went on to call races at Playfair Race Course in Spokane, Washington and Yakima Meadows in Yakima, Washington. He also filled-in for a season at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill, New Jersey in 1991. By the late 1990s, Harris was named Track Announcer of Retama Park near San Antonio, Texas; where he called 15 seasons. Harris was also named Track Announcer of Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas from 2009–2018,.Harris has also announced for several smaller race meets across the United States throughout his career and is currently the track announcer of Portland Meadows, located in Portland Oregon and Emerald Downs, located in Auburn, Washington.
Tom Harris called the 20th triple dead heatin Thoroughbred racing (since the advent of the photo finish) in 1996 at Yakima Meadows when all three horses - Fly Like An Angel, Allihavonztheradio, and Terri After Five hit the finish line together in an astonishing race to the wire. Harris's called finish dead-on with "Three heads hit the wire; it's a close one!" and the story made international news across various outlets such as TSN, ESPN, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times and many more.
Harris is believed to have called more races in the history of Texas horse racing since Parimutuel betting was reinstated than any other race announcer in Texas history. It is estimated that Harris has called over 11,500 races during his combined 17-year career at Retama Park in San Antonio and Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.
Tom Harris also served as Public Address Announcer for The Chicago Cubsgames during Spring Training at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona from 1981 to 1989.
In the early 1990s while announcing horse races at the Yakima Meadows season, he worked a double by serving as Public Address Announcer and later Play by Play Broadcaster for The Yakima Sun Kings of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA); a league that featured the tail end of careers of players like Darryl Dawkins, Manute Bol, Jo Jo English and others.
Harris was thought to have the longest weekly commute to announce two separate race tracks when in the mid-1990s he flew weekly from Playfair Race course in Spokane, Washington to San Antonio, Texas to call races the same week at Retama Park. The arrangement lasted for several weeks until one of the tracks concluded its season. The story was so remarkable that it was co-featured by sportswriter Tim Price on the front page of the sports section of the San Antonio Express News that year.
Harris also served as Operations Manager of Emerald Racing Association at Yakima Meadows when the Seattle area track Longacres Park was closed and while the new replacement track could be built for the Seattle Area. Harris also served as General Manager & Vice President of Racing Operations at Atokad Downs Track in South Sioux City, Nebraska from 2001 through 2003. Harris is largely accredited with the successful re-opening of the track after it was closed due to financial struggles from previous ownership several years earlier.
Selma is a city in Bexar, Comal, and Guadalupe Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. It is part of the San Antonio metropolitan statistical area. Its population was 10,952 at the 2020 census, up from 5,540 at the 2010 census. Selma was settled by German and Polish immigrants in the mid 1800s.
Belmont Park is a thoroughbred horse racetrack in Elmont, New York, United States, just east of the New York City limits. It was opened on May 4, 1905, and is one of the major tracks in the northeastern United States.
Russell Avery Baze is a retired horse racing jockey. He holds the record for the most race wins in North American horse racing history, and is a member of the United States Racing Hall of Fame and the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
Penn Entertainment, Inc., formerly Penn National Gaming, is an American entertainment company and operator of integrated entertainment, sports content, and casino gambling. It operates 43 properties in 20 states, under brands including Hollywood Casino, Ameristar, and Boomtown. It also offers sports betting in 15 jurisdictions and online casino gaming in 5, under brands such as ESPN BET and theScore.
Golden Gate Fields is an American horse racing track straddling both Albany, California and Berkeley, California along the shoreline of the San Francisco Bay adjacent to the Eastshore Freeway in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the closing of the Bay Meadows racetrack on May 11, 2008, it became the only major Thoroughbred racetrack in Northern California. It is currently owned by The Stronach Group.
Emerald Downs is a Thoroughbred racetrack in Auburn, Washington, located a half mile east of Highway 167. It is named after Seattle, the Emerald City.
Charles David "Chic" Anderson was an American sportscaster and public address announcer specializing in Thoroughbred horse racing. He was one of American sports' most famous PA voices, and remains among its most revered race callers. Anderson's narration of the 1973 Belmont Stakes, where he described Secretariat as "moving like a tremendous machine", remains one of horse racing's most memorable calls.
Tom Durkin is a semi-retired American sportscaster and public address announcer specializing in Thoroughbred horse racing. He was the race caller for NBC Sports from 1984 through 2010 and served as announcer for the New York Racing Association from 1990 until retiring in 2014. For his career-long dedication, he was awarded the Eclipse Award of Merit in January 2015.
Trevor Denman is a South African American sportscaster and public-address announcer specializing in Thoroughbred horse racing.
Longacres was a Thoroughbred horse racetrack in Renton, Washington, United States. Owned by the Gottstein/Alhadeff family and operated by the Washington Jockey Club for the vast majority of its existence, the racetrack was the home of Thoroughbred racing in Western Washington from its opening in 1933 and was the longest continuously running track on the West Coast upon its closure. Until 1971, it was also the only place in Western Washington where gambling was legal. Notable races held at the racetrack include the Longacres Mile Handicap and the Gottstein Futurity.
Michael Wrona is an announcer from Brisbane, Australia specializing in Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred horse racing. He is best known for the phrase "Racing!", which he says at the start of every race call.
Larry Collmus is a Thoroughbred horse racing announcer. A native of Baltimore, Collmus has called at numerous racetracks around the country. He is the race caller for NBC Sports' coverage of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup. He previously called races at Gulfstream Park, Monmouth Park, Suffolk Downs and NYRA.
Sam Houston Race Park is a horse racing track located in unincorporated northwest Houston, Texas, United States. The park hosts both Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse racing each year. The track strives to be a multi-purpose venue, hosting many festivals and events during its off seasons.
Yakima Meadows was a horse racing track located in Yakima, Washington.
Playfair Race Course was the home of horse racing in Spokane, Washington, from 1901 to 2000. The track started out as a four-furlong (half-mile) flat oval, and expanded to five furlongs in 1946. The grandstand was on the west, with the home stretch heading south, and the stables were on the east side.
Roger Huston, known as "The Voice", is a harness race announcer. He has announced over 167,000 races in his career, covering at least 126 different tracks in 17 states and 7 countries. He was also the Public Address Announcer for The Pitt Panthers in football in the 1970s and 1980s, made famous by his enthusiastic call of "tackle by #99 HUGH Green!"
Corey James Lanerie is a jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing. Based in Kentucky, he has won 19 jockey titles at Churchill Downs and has won meets at Ellis Park, Lone Star Park, Sam Houston and Retama Park.
Retama Park is a class 1 pari-mutuel horse racetrack located in Selma, Texas, United States, that opened in 1995. Live quarter horse races meet July to September. Simulcast racing is shown year-round. The track is owned by the Retama Development Corporation and managed by Penn Entertainment.