If you’ve visited Century Downs Racetrack and Casino on race day, you’ll probably be able to recognize the voice of Murray Slough. As our Announcer/Racer Analyst, he is the man behind the microphone. Slough has been a horse race announcer for 25 years, beginning his career at the age of 23.
When asked about the main difference between Standardbred and Thoroughbred races from an announcers’ point of view, Slough said, “It’s really just the terminology you have to be careful with. Other than that, you’re looking at the horses, you’re watching for horses making moves, you’re being accurate on where all the horses are, it’s really not that much different.”
There are many different ways of announcing. Each announcer uses different strategies in order to ensure they are announcing efficiently and accurately. Some announcers memorize the program pages and some memorize the drivers’ colours during Standardbred season, so it can sometimes become confusing when Thoroughbred season comes along.
“I go by the drivers with harness racing and for Thoroughbreds I will go by the saddle pads and rely on the helmet on the rider being the same colour, that really helps if you can’t see the saddle pad. You just have to be used to the fact that some of the saddle pad colours do change slightly from harness racing. It gets engrained into you and that’s generally what I go by,” Slough explained.
The pressure is high with announcing horse racing. With Quarter Horse racing, there is little time for explanation or error when announcing. “The goal is to make sure you call the winner,” Said Slough. With less than a minute to work with, it is sometimes difficult to announce much else.
“You have one take. Whatever happens, happens. If you say something, it’s out there,” Slough said, “You can prepare by learning the horses, but there’s no script, there’s no preparation that will tell you what’s going to happen in the race. You just have to see what happens and describe it and do the best you can. And once you do it, there’s no take two.”
Luckily, Slough has many years of experience of announcing horse race, is a very experienced horse race announcer and is able to think quickly and efficiently when announcing all races at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.
We would like to thank Slough for all of his dedication and hard work here at the racetrack. For more details on Slough and his position, head over to Century Downs’ YouTube channel or Facebook page (@CenturyDowns) for the full video on this story.
COMING UP AT CENTURY DOWNS
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See you at Century Downs!