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Posted 2017-11-14 20:09:47  
South African Denman to American Hall of Fame

Iconic horse racing announcer Trevor Denman will become one of two members of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame when he is inducted at the 27th annual SCSB Awards Luncheon on Jan. 22, 2018, at Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake.

The other inductee will be longtime Laker TV commentator Stu Lantz. He and Denman will become the 36th and 37th members of the SCSB Hall of Fame.

Denman, 65, revolutionized race commentary after coming from South Africa to Southern California in 1983 and working at all three of the area’s major racetracks – Santa Anita, the now-defunct Hollywood Park and Del Mar. He retired from Santa Anita in December 2015 but still calls races at Del Mar.

Denman’s approach to calling races involves not only describing the position of the runners but adding in-race commentary. One of his most familiar phrases is “moving like a winner.” His most memorable call – among the thousands he did – came when then-undefeated Zenyatta came from behind to win the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. As Zenyatta, a female, came from behind to beat the boys, the cadence of Denman’s call of “un-be-lieve-able” seemed to match the horse’s strides. Classic race, classic call.

Since horse racing doesn’t have a Hall of Fame for race announcers, this will be only Denman’s second Hall of Fame honor. The other, by California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, came in 2013.

When not working at Del Mar, Denman and his wife Robin live on a farm in rural Minnesota. Last April, Denman suffered a severely broken leg when he fell off a tractor at his farm. The leg was broken in three places. It took several months to heal.

Denman said he and his wife will make a special trip back to Southern California to attend January’s awards luncheon.

Also at the luncheon, retired Los Angeles Kings TV announcer Bob Miller will be the second recipient of the newly named Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award at January’s awards luncheon. Scully was the first recipient last January. Scully was inducted in the SCSB Hall of Fame in 1997, Miller in 2002.

The SCSB was formed in 1958, and the Hall of Fame has existed since 1993. The first inductees were former Heisman Trophy winner and local broadcaster Tom Harmon, UCLA announcer Fred Hessler and L.A. Rams announcer Bob Kelley. Harmon was the organization’s first president.

Read this interview Sahorseracing.com conducted with Denman in 2006

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