Track Caller Travis Stone Meets the Media

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From Churchill Downs – New Track Announcer Travis Stone will meet local media members Thursday at the Track. Here’s his first local interview – from the Rusty Satellite Show. 

Travis Stone grew up in Schroon Lake, N.Y. spending summers at Saratoga Race Course and greatly admiring the work of legendary announcers Tom Durkin and Dave Johnson. After graduating from SUNY Oneonta with degree in Communication Arts, he landed his first job as a track announcer at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in 2006 at age 22 and held that post through 2013. When Larry Collmus left Monmouth Park after 20 years to call at Churchill Downs in 2014, Stone was named as his replacement at the New Jersey track. Now he’ll succeed Collmus for the second time in as many years.

“Travis Stone is justly a rising star among the North American announcing ranks,” said Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs Racetrack President. “To no one’s surprise, numerous race-callers with a wide range of talent and individual style showed interest in our vacant track announcer position. But it became clear to us that Travis’ passion for Horse racing and charisma resonated through the microphone and made him the ideal fit for our team and racing at Churchill Downs.

Travis Stone will be calling his first Derby
Travis Stone will be calling his first Derby

“It’s apparent that Travis works tirelessly to hone his craft with entertaining, colorful and accurate race calls. We believe he’s one of the nation’s premier announcers and will be a fabulous ambassador for Churchill Downs Racetrack in a community and region that loves Horse racing like no other for years to come.”

Stone will join an elite fraternity of Churchill Downs track announcers that include Gene Schmidt (1940-60), Chic Anderson (1961-77), Mike Battaglia (1978-96), Kurt Becker (1997-98), Luke Kruytbosch (1999-2008), Mark Johnson (2009-13) and Collmus (2014).

Stone has called races at Churchill Downs on two other occasions. He was a participant in the 2006 All-Star Announcer’s Day on the day prior to the 2006 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and was part of a select group of five talented guest announcers who each spent one week behind the binoculars and microphone at Churchill Downs during the 2008 Fall Meet. He also has made guest appearances at Suffolk Downs, Calder Race Course and Golden Gate Fields.

Here’s a link to Stone’s call of this year’s Haskell Invitational: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9dN2_OobTI. A compilation of select race calls can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-htUEbNuRI.