Larry Collmus said it is "pretty darn cool" that his call of the first Triple Crown finale in 37 years Saturday at Belmont Park will be part of the event forever, a development he could not have imagined when he called his first horse race 30 years and one day earlier at Bowie Race Track in Maryland.
"I would have told you you're absolutely nuts," he said.
The best part for the track announcer was that he was mostly pleased with the way he performed. He first heard himself on NBC's postrace coverage.
"I just wanted to hear it one time just to see how it came out," he said Monday, two days after the race. "I was happy that I think I said the right thing and said it the right way."
So was that the only time he has heard himself? Um, no. "It has nothing to do with wanting to hear my voice but more to the point that I just wanted to relive the 2 minutes and 26 seconds one more time," he said. "I have probably listened to the race and watched the race 100 times, and when we're done with this call, I might listen to it again and watch it again."
After the Belmont, Collmus still had two more races to call in his role as the Belmont track announcer. What was that like?
"Well, you don't want to use the term 'mail it in,' but to be honest with you, it was almost comical when the horses were going into the starting gate for the 12th race at Belmont that day, 45 minutes after American Pharoah had just won the Triple Crown . . . I couldn't sleep very well the night after the Belmont, either."