Terry Wallace, the ‘Voice of Oaklawn’, To Retire

Zoie Clift

I just got the below media release from
Jennifer Hoyt of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. Looks like track announcer Terry Wallace will be
bidding the park farewell. If you’ve caught the horse races at the park anytime in
the last 37 years, then you’ve had the chance to hear Wallace call the race.
He’s known as ‘one of the most recognizable voices in Arkansas.’ You will be
missed Terry! Check out the full news release below for more details:


Terry Wallace, who completed his 37th consecutive season as track announcer at Oaklawn Park in 2011, will retire from
the announcer’s booth in advance of the 2012 meet.

“After serious consideration in recent
weeks, the time has come to end my run as Oaklawn’s track announcer,” Wallace
said. “It is time for a new person to have the same opportunities I’ve been
given here. While I still have good health, I can continue to be a member of
the Oaklawn family in other roles. 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

During his tenure, Wallace became one of the
most recognizable voices in Arkansas, calling such greats as champions
Temperence Hill, Sunny’s Halo, Victory Gallop, Smarty Jones, and Afleet Alex
and Horse of the Years Cigar, Azeri, Curlin, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. He
is known to all horse racing fans, especially those from the state, for his
trademark “Here they come into the short stretch of the mile run” and “Picking
‘em up and laying ‘em down.”

Wallace set a record of 20,000 consecutive
race calls following the third race on March 25, 2010, and ended his streak
after the fourth race on January 28, 2011 with 20,191 calls without a miss. On
the day he hit 20,000, Hot Springs Mayor, Mike Bush, declared it “Terry Wallace
Day” and he also received congratulatory letters from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe
and former President Bill Clinton, who grew up on Hot Springs. In 2011, the
acclaims kept coming for Wallace, who was named Arkansas H.B.P.A. “Man of the
Year” and during the most recent Arkansas legislative session, a proclamation
was written declaring him the official voice of Arkansas.

“Racing is incredibly popular in
Arkansas and for multiple generations the sound of horse racing and Oaklawn has
been Terry Wallace,” said Oaklawn President Charles Cella. “His
identifiable enthusiasm helped make Oaklawn so popular to millions of fans
across America.”

Oaklawn will conduct a search for a new
announcer, although no timeframe has been set. The track resumes live racing
January 13, 2012 for a 56-day meet. Photo credit Coady Photography/Oaklawn
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