USA: John Imbriale takes over from Larry Collmus as voice of New York

John Imbriale, who is set to take over from Larry Collmus as the voice of New York racing. Photo: Adam Coglianese/NYRA

By Nicholas Godfrey

USA: After a reported stalling in contract negotiations, Larry Collmus is to be replaced by his deputy John Imbriale as the voice of New York Racing Association at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga.

Collmus, who will continue to call the Triple Crown on NBC Sports, stands down after five years in one of the highest-profile calling jobs in the world of horse racing.

Imbriale’s voice will now be heard on a nightly basis in Britain on Sky Sports Racing’s Stateside as he follows in a long line of legendary New York announcers, including Tom Durkin, Marshall Cassidy, Chic Anderson, Dave Johnson and Fred ‘Cappy’ Capossela.

According to a NYRA press release, Imbriale’s tenure with NYRA dates to 1979 when he won a New York Daily News contest which gave him the opportunity to call a race and work with the NYRA press office. In 1990, Imbriale became Tom Durkin’s backup and has since been part of NYRA’s race-calling team at all three tracks.

“In a sense, this is a job for which I’ve been preparing for years,” said Imbriale, whose most recent role for NYRA is director of television production.

“I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by incredible racecallers during my career. I learned from all of them and these lessons live with me to this day. I’m humbled by the trust placed in me by NYRA and look forward to calling races for the best fans in the sport.”

Collmus joined NYRA in 2014 and called the last two Triple Crowns – American Pharoah in 2015, whose victory ended a 37-year drought, and Justify in 2018.

 “I’d like to thank NYRA for five great years calling memorable races at these wonderful venues,” said Collmus. “I will certainly miss the people and places that make NYRA so special, especially the passionate racing fans at Saratoga, but it’s the right time for me to move on to the next challenge while continuing my work with NBC Sports.”

Imbriale will officially assume his new duties effective immediately.