Local Sports

Veteran track announcer joining Horseshoe Indianapolis racing staff

John G. Dooley, veteran racing announcer who has provided the call for hundreds of Graded Stakes races, had been named the new track announcer for Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Dooley (photo) will step into his new Indiana role when the 20th season of racing gets underway at the formerly-named Indiana Grand Racing & Casino on April 19.

“We are elated to add such an accomplished track announcer to our racing team at Horseshoe Indianapolis,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing. “John Dooley’s voice is associated with so many top races each year and having him in the announcer’s booth in Indiana will be a big boost to our racing program.”

A native of Staten Island, New York, Dooley moved into horse racing following graduation from St. John’s University in 1987 where he obtained a degree in sports management. After serving in the publicity offices of Monmouth Park in New Jersey and NYRA, he moved into his first announcing position at Thistledown in Ohio for six years before returning to NYRA as the assistant track announcer until 1997.

Dooley then became the announcer for Lone Star Park in Texas during their inaugural season in 1997 and relocated to Arlington International Park in 2000, a position he held until the track closed in 2021. In addition, Dooley joined the staff at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots as the track announcer in 2004 during the winter months, creating a circuit between Fair Grounds and Arlington for the past 18 years.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity to join the broadcast team for the newly branded Horseshoe Indianapolis,” said Dooley. “I think racing in Indiana is moving in a positive direction. Having lived and called races in the Midwest for the past 22 years, and knowing many horsemen and fans in the region, I look forward to being a part of the 20th anniversary season in Indiana.”

Dooley has been associated with some of the top races in North America over the past two decades, including the Arlington Million at Arlington Racecourse and the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. He has been the voice behind tens of thousands of races during his career with two calls holding a special place in his heart.

“I enjoy every race card I get a chance to do, but I’ll never forget my first Grade I race,” said Dooley. “The race was Go for Wand winning the 1990 Beldame at Belmont Park while I worked for the NYRA Press Office. And I always think back to the great moment for Chicago racing fans when The Pizza Man rallied to win the Grade I Arlington Million in 2015. It was a thrilling finish to see the Illinois bred win it for the home team.”

Dooley will make a circuit out of calling races in Indiana as well as Fair Grounds moving forward. He also has a large following of fans on social media and is engaged in all aspects of promoting horse racing.

“In addition to being such a recognizable force in the announcer’s booth, John will assist our race marketing team with several promotions and events throughout the year,” said Halstrom. “He’s definitely very invested in our sport and having him as part of our program is a big boost to our entire production.”

The 20th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing resumes April 19 and run through Nov. 23.