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Adam Mauntah's Blog

 

A Storied Career Comes to a Close

Published: May 28, 2015 8:59 am ET

Last Comment: June 1, 2015 8:49 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I am a great fan of race calling those who do it for a living. As I write this, we are not far away from bidding farewell to Dan Loiselle – a master of the race calling profession and an ambassador to Canadian horse racing.

Dan is best known as the voice of thoroughbred racing at Woodbine since 1986. However, he got his start calling standardbreds at such tracks as Garden City Raceway and Greenwood Raceway. Even during his tenure at thoroughbred announcer, Dan would often pitch in during the winter harness meet at Woodbine and call standardbred races with the same smoothness and fluidity that endeared him to generations of thoroughbred fans on track at Woodbine and at simulcast locations throughout North America.

Much has changed in Canadian horse racing since Dan began his tenure as Woodbine thoroughbred announcer. Tracks have come and gone, Woodbine now has a standardbred track and a synthetic surface for thoroughbreds, and race calls that could once be heard only by those attending the races at the track can now be heard by anyone anywhere in the world with a computer or a smartphone. Throughout that time, Dan has remained a constant at Woodbine, and has adapted along with the sport. Dan developed a style that conveyed the excitement of horse racing in an accurate and professional manner, with a tone that matched the excitement of each race he called. In doing so, he earned the accolades of his peers and the praise of racing fans throughout his career. I have been in many announcers’ booths and spoken with many race callers who expressed nothing but praise for their esteemed colleague.

There are many things for which Dan will be remembered, from his trademark phrase -“Picture time!” – when a race was too close to call, to his calls of many classic races, including Breeders Crown races, an Arlington Million, a North America Cup, and, of course, 28 runnings of the Queen’s Plate. Dan might also be remembered for some of his other colourful phrases, such as his observation that a pedestrian early pace was “slower than weight loss” or that a tenacious runner was “tougher than a night in jail”. In that vein, I would say that Dan reigned like a king over Woodbine. The owners of the champion thoroughbred, Wise Dan, must surely have had Canada’s premier thoroughbred voice in mind when they named their horse.

Although it was Dan who was behind the microphone, I would be remiss if I did not mention his wife, Wendy. Wendy will also be retiring from her position at Woodbine Entertainment Group after 37 years with the company. Added to Dan’s 48 years with the organization, going back to when it was the Ontario Jockey Club, the couple has devoted 85 years of service to the company. I wish both Wendy and Dan a long and happy retirement. Many of us will long be grateful to Dan for decades of exciting calls and great memories, and to both Wendy and Dan for their unparalleled service to Canadian horse racing.

P.S. Since I first drafted this blog, Robert Geller has been officially announced as the new thoroughbred race caller at Woodbine. I wish Robert well in his new position and look forward to hearing him when he arrives at Woodbine in mid-June to continue the legacy Dan and his predecessor, Daryl Wells, have left at Woodbine. Welcome to Canada, Robert!


The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

June 1, 2015 - 8:49 pmI actually had a tear come to

Will Yamakva SAID...

I actually had a tear come to my eye. Easily the best race caller around. Only Tom Durkin could compare.

Loiselle is like that voice you associate with CNN, it is always James Earl Jones, but you do not think about that.... its the CNN voice.

Dan, you were the perfect replacement for the over the top Daryll Wells, and the perfect race caller since I was a lil kid.

You were the best

May 28, 2015 - 3:18 pmCongratulations Danny.....

Congratulations Danny..... you were always ready to lend a helping hand when I was the Race Secretary a Orangeville and you were in the Race Office at Greenwood... Always a Great Announcer and always a Classy guy.....Good luck in your retirement.....Terry

May 28, 2015 - 11:44 amDanny, you were a good guy

Danny, you were a good guy when you worked in the race office prior to becoming a renowned race caller and finished the same way. Congratulations to both you and Wendy.
Brian Webster


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