It’s not every day you come across a famous announcer, let alone one who called the Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown. But now you can at Del Mar.
The Collmus Call for CARMA is in full swing this fall. It’s the opportunity for fans to sit with Del Mar announcer Larry Collmus as he calls a race. The special event raises money for CARMA, the California Retirement Management Account, a non-profit organization that provides funding for the rehabilitation, retraining and/or retirement of thoroughbred horses in California.
For $100, fans get a box seat, track entry and a race schedule. Plus, they meet and greet Collmus and actually sit in the announcer’s booth above the grandstand as he calls the third race of the day. It’s a unique experience for any racing fan.
Tracy and Chris Corner of Woodside, a small horse community in the Bay Area, took advantage of the opportunity Saturday. Since Collmus called races at Golden Gate Fields and the fair circuit for four years, the three have swapped stories about the mule races held in Pleasanton.
“It’s great for us to meet Larry,” Chris says of his reason for participating in the Collmus Call for CARMA. “Larry Collmus called American Pharoah the Triple Crown. I’ve been waiting forever for that Triple Crown. But we were also very attracted to the fact that this is for CARMA. Money doesn’t matter because I like where I’m going. It goes back to where it should be, to the horses.”
The Corners said the experience was everything they hoped for.
“We will do this again if you keep doing this,” says Chris, “Del Mar is our favorite because of everything you do here. Last night we walked to dinner in sandals in November. Any kind of benefit that Del Mar comes up with that provides money for aftercare, and it’s something fun like that, would be something we would continue to do.”
Collmus for CARMA was actually Larry Collmus’ idea.
“I did that at Saratoga when I was calling there,” Collmus says. “I thought it would be a great idea to bring him here and it seems to be going well.”
Collmus says he enjoys interacting with fans.
“I’ve always liked meeting different people,” he says. “Sometimes you have people who don’t go to the track that often. Then you have this couple (the Corners) who are more familiar with racing. I think it’s great to have people come (to his booth). It’s obviously for a great cause and hopefully we can get people to come.”
It’s easy to be part of a Collmus call for CARMA. Contact the Del Mar box office at dmtc.com/tickets or call 858-792-4242