Bobby Zen

Track announcer John Imbriale has announced that he will retire following a 44-year career with the New York Racing Association.

Imbriale’s tenure with NYRA dates to 1979 when he won a New York Daily News contest, giving him the opportunity to call a race and work with the NYRA press office. In 1990, the Queens, New York native became Tom Durkin’s backup and along the way, took on other responsibilities at NYRA by working with Harvey Pack on the Inside Racing program, and in a variety of roles within NYRA TV.

“When I think about all the things that I was fortunate to do at NYRA, the best part was being able to work with a lot of talented, wonderful people, from Harvey Pack and Charlsie Cantey to Tom Durkin and all the behind-the-scenes people in NYRA TV, simulcasting and the press office,” said Imbriale.

In January of 2020, Imbriale took over as NYRA’s full-time track announcer, joining former New York race callers that include Durkin, Marshall Cassidy, Dave Johnson, Chic Anderson and Fred “Cappy” Capossela.

He said, “When I walked into the booth at Saratoga for the first time after taking over as the full-time announcer in 2020, I literally got goose bumps thinking of those who had gone before me, greats like Fred Capossela, Marshall Cassidy, Chic Anderson, Dave Johnson and Tom. I got to do just about everything I wanted to do at NYRA. That’s how fortunate I was. I really feel that way.”

In 2023, Imbriale transitioned from full time to seasonal duties as the primary announcer at Belmont Park and the Belmont at the Big A fall meet. Imbriale handed the Saratoga baton to Frank Mirahmadi, who called his first Saratoga meet in 2023 and will return in 2024.

Chris Griffin, who joined NYRA in 2023 and served as the track announcer for the winter and spring meets at Aqueduct, will expand his role and handle all race calling duties at Aqueduct.

“John’s contributions went beyond an unwavering accuracy in calling the races,” said  NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke. “He conveyed excitement whether it was a Grade 1 at Saratoga or a mid-week claimer, and in doing so, helped fans learn about and better appreciate thoroughbred racing. John is also one of the true gentlemen of racing and a role model and mentor to a generation of NYRA staff.”

The post NYRA Announcer John Imbriale Announces Retirement appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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