Frank Mirahmadi, a well-known figure in racing circles from coast to coast, has been named Santa Anita Park‘s permanent announcer and will assume his duties beginning opening day, Dec. 26.
Having just completed his fourth season as the track announcer at Monmouth Park, Mirahmadi is currently calling races at Aqueduct Racetrack and will conclude his duties in New York Dec. 16. Mirahmadi has also served over the last 22 years, with his first announcing job at Hialeah Park, and at several other locales, including Oaklawn Park, Golden Gate Fields, and Louisiana Downs, with brief stints at Santa Anita in 2014 and 2016.
“We’re very excited to be able to hand Frank the microphone here on opening day,” said Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer for The Stronach Group. “In addition to being an outstanding communicator, to know Frank is to love him. He’s a very engaging, funny guy who brings a unique perspective to his job.
“First and foremost, he’s a fan and I really think that’s important. He knows what our players want and he knows how to engage not only them, but newcomers as well. He’s well known and respected by our horsemen, and we’re looking forward to having him do a number of promotional things in addition to calling races. I know he’ll be here on-track well in advance of opening day to get reacquainted with everyone, and we can’t wait for the bell to ring on Dec. 26.”
Mirahmadi, 51, succeeds Australian native Michael Wrona, who had served as track announcer for the past two years.
“Change is never easy, and we want to acknowledge Michael’s contributions to Santa Anita over the past couple of years,” Ritvo said. “We appreciate his hard work and dedication and we wish him well in his next assignment.”
Born in Los Angeles, Mirahmadi called his first two races on Dec. 24, 1992, when invited as a celebrity impersonator at Hollywood Park, in which he did remarkably accurate imitations of longtime Santa Anita announcer Trevor Denman as well as Harry Henson, who had served as Hollywood Park’s announcer for 24 years. Mirahmadi also played the role of Santa Anita track announcer in the hit movie “Seabiscuit.”
Far beyond his ability to make people laugh, however, the racing world soon discovered that Mirahmadi was an outstanding race caller when he was simply being himself.
“Santa Anita Park has been my favorite racetrack since I started attending horse races as a kid in the ’70s,” Mirahmadi said. “I have vivid recollections of where I sat watching races featuring superstars such as Spectacular Bid, John Henry, Precisionist, Winning Colors, and so many others. There is no higher honor than to be named the voice of what I like to call The Greatest Race Place. I am so thankful for this incredible opportunity and look forward to returning home.”