Great to see the Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee’s glowing account of Michael Wrona’s audition for the Churchill Downs announcer job. I think Wrona, formerly of Hollywood Park, is the best in the business.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — No one can reasonably argue that Michael Wrona is not an immensely talented race-caller. Wrona is the entire package — uncannily accurate while laugh-out-loud entertaining at once.
During his six-day race-calling stint that ended Sunday at Churchill Downs, Wrona reaffirmed his reputation as one of the best callers in North America. With his clipped and distinct Australian accent, Wrona, 42, had the good fortune of calling a major milestone on his first day, Nov. 11, when Julien Leparoux rode a Churchill record-tying seven winners.
Such an extraordinary feat fit perfectly into Wrona’s wheelhouse. Wrona long has been known for races such as the 1990 Hollywood Turf Cup, a marathon turf race in which he said about Itsallgreektome, “Can he stay the distance? He stays like a mother-in-law!!” His quips about Leparoux were numerous, timely, and clever, so much so that fans not only were talking about Leparoux, but Wrona, too. …
Wrona was the third of five callers to audition this fall at Churchill, where officials say they will decide before the end of the year who will replace Luke Kruytbosch, who died unexpectedly in July. Wrona followed Bobby Neuman (Oct. 26 to Nov. 2) and Travis Stone (Nov. 5-9). Larry Collmus will take his turn Wednesday through Sunday, followed by Mark Johnson (Nov. 26-29).
As Marty goes on to note, some wonder if Churchill Downs would hire an Australian to serve as voice of the Kentucky Derby. If Churchill believes the Derby is the greatest race in the world, not just the greatest in America, it will hire the best regardless of accent.
Fan feedback is being taken at firstname.lastname@example.org. I assume that means fans from all over, so if you’re a Wrona fan, give him your support.