Local

Santa Anita race caller Trevor Denman retires

Trevor Denman poses with television host Conan O'Brien after calling a horse race at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 25, 2013.
Trevor Denman poses with television host Conan O'Brien after calling a horse race at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 25, 2013.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

Trevor Denman, who has announced races at Santa Anita since 1983, is retiring three weeks before the racetrack's winter-spring meet begins on Dec. 26.

Denman announced his plans on Friday, saying, "It's time to stop counting dollars and start counting the stars." The 63-year-old South African says he will live on his farm in Minnesota and travel throughout the U.S. and overseas. He will still call races at Del Mar north of San Diego during that track's shorter summer meet.

Denman first called two races at Santa Anita in January 1983. He was hired as the full-time announcer for the track's fall meet that year and then came on board permanently for the 1984-85 season when Dave Johnson left.

Along with Johnson, Denman is one of just four announcers Santa Anita has had since its opening in 1934.

Denman is known for his signature phrase, "And away they go," when the horses break from the starting gate. He's also called races at Pimlico, Golden Gate Fields and Del Mar. The native of Durban, South Africa, has been involved in the sport since he was 6.

Joe Morris, an official of the Stronach Group which owns the track, says Michael Wrona and Frank Mirahmadi will work the upcoming meet while a worldwide search for Denman's replacement is held.