For­mer race caller Terry Wal­lace dies

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Mary Ram­pellini

Terry Wal­lace, who was the track an­nouncer for Oak­lawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., for 37 years, died Thurs­day af­ter a lengthy ill­ness, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the track. Wal­lace had re­tired from his post in 2011. Wal­lace was 74. Wal­lace spent time as an am­bas­sador for Oak­lawn fol­low­ing his an­nounc­ing ca­reer. He is a na­tive of Cincin­nati who got his start as an an­nouncer in 1968, when he was a sub­sti­tute for Chic An­der­son at La­to­nia, now Tur­fway Park. Wal­lace’s first race-call­ing po­si­tion was at River Downs. He also was the an­nouncer at Louisiana Downs, Ak-Sar-Ben, and Horse­men’s Park. Wal­lace is in both the Ne­braska Racing Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Dur­ing his ca­reer, Wal­lace called such his­toric mo­ments as Steve Cau­then’s first win, at River Downs in 1976; the match race be­tween Who Doc­tor Who and Ex­plo­sive Girl at Ak-SarBen in 1988; the Oak­lawn Hand­i­cap win by Cigar that ranked as ESPN’s race of the year in 1994; and the Arkansas Derby win by Smarty Jones in 2004.

Wal­lace joined Oak­lawn in 1975 and called 20,191 con­sec­u­tive races at the track in a streak he chose to end on Jan. 28, 2011, by not call­ing the fifth race. The streak be­gan on Feb. 7, 1975.

“I’m very com­fort­able in know­ing that my record isn’t go­ing to be bro­ken any time soon, so I’m think­ing it might be fun to ex­pe­ri­ence the track I love so much from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive,” Wal­lace said at the time.

The Arkansas leg­is­la­ture once wrote a procla­ma­tion declar­ing Wal­lace the of­fi­cial voice of Arkansas. Other hon­ors in­clude be­ing named the Arkansas Horse­men’s Benev­o­lent and Pro­tec­tive As­so­ci­a­tion’s Man of the Year for 2011 and recognition by the United Way for his vol­un­teer work and by the Na­tional Turf Writ­ers and Broad­cast­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. He re­tired in June 2011.

“Af­ter se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion in re­cent weeks, the time has come to end my run as Oak­lawn’s track an­nouncer,” Wal­lace said at the time. “I’m very thank­ful for Charles Cella, my fel­low em­ploy­ees, and the peo­ple of my adopted home of Arkansas for the re­spect and love I’ve been shown through all my ter­rific years as the voice of Oak­lawn.”

He is sur­vived by wife, Alice, sons Ernie and Jake, and a daugh­ter, Sarah.

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