Legendary race-caller Tom Durkin has joined the team at West Point Thoroughbreds, it was announced today by West Point’s founder and president, Terry Finley.
The recently retired Durkin, a long time Standardbred owner, will be an equity partner on horses within the West Point Thoroughbred partnerships, including the promising 3-year-old filly Phantom Phasr (Ghostzapper-Ballistae, by Mizzen Mast) who is scheduled to make her debut this winter.
In addition to his ownership interests within the organization, Durkin will work directly with Finley and West Point’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Bellhouse in business development and partnership relations.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tom to our team,” said Finley. “In addition to Tom joining the partnership on the owner side, he brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and history to the game and will no doubt be an asset to our team.”
Durkin, who made his final call at Saratoga Race Course on August 31, will be honored Saturday night with the Eclipse award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in the Thoroughbred industry. He called races at numerous tracks throughout the Midwest before moving to Hialeah Park in 1981. Three years later, he was named track announcer for the inaugural running Breeders’ Cup which aired on NBC. He retained that position for 21 years, until the races shifted to ESPN in 2006.
In August 1990, Durkin began a remarkable 24-year tenure with the New York Racing Association. Throughout his time with NYRA, he served as the voice of the Belmont Stakes, and on eight different occasions, Durkin was behind the microphone when the Triple Crown was on the line. His account of Real Quiet’s thrilling Triple Crown near-miss against Victory Gallop in the 1998 Belmont stands as one of the most dramatic calls in the history of sports broadcasting.
“I’ve known Terry and Tom for years and admire the class and integrity that West Point brings to the game,” said Durkin. “They are the gold standard in Thoroughbred partnerships and I am very excited to join their partnership and work with the team.”
Since 1991, West Point Thoroughbreds has grown into one of the most respected partnerships in the industry. The company currently manages equine portfolios for nearly 500 partners and a stable of over 75 horses. With a home base in Saratoga Springs, NY, West Point Thoroughbreds has offices in New York, New Jersey, Kentucky and California, and annually contests the top race meets across the country.