Trevor Denman to skip Del Mar meeting, replaced by Larry Collmus

Trevor Denman won't be in his familiar spot this summer atop the grandstand at Del Mar.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Legendary track announcer has called every race at Del Mar over the past 36 years but missing this summer due to coronavirus pandemic


Del Mar will be missing more than fans this summer when the thoroughbred race meeting begins July 10.

It will be missing its voice.

Trevor Denman, the legendary announcer who has been the voice of the seaside track since 1984, will skip this summer meeting due to health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a news release from Del Mar, the 67-year-old Denman recently told track officials he and his wife did not wish to travel at this time from their farm in Minnesota.

Denman’s replacement is a rarity: Someone else who has called a race at Del Mar. Larry Collmus, the voice of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup for NBC, was here in 2017 for the Breeders’ Cup.

“When Trevor told us of his situation, we naturally had to respect what he was feeling,” Josh Rubinstein, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s president and COO, said in a statement. “We immediately worked up a short list of possible replacements and Larry was the man we zeroed in on. Happily, he said he was available and would be delighted to call our meet.”

Collmus, 53, has been the voice of tracks such as Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs, Monmouth Park, Golden Gate Fields and, most recently, the three major New York venues.

In a statement, he called the opportunity at Del Mar “an unexpected but welcome thrill.”

Del Mar said Denman — a member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame since 2017 — plans to return to the track for the start of the fall meet Oct. 31.

-- Jay Posner is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune