We’ve mentioned some of the highlights of our Resource Works “Race for Resources Day” at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, June 25:
A buffet lunch, friends, photos, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live music, a roaming photographer, and our own personal betting kiosk.
But there is one more highlight: the man who tells you what’s going on. . . .
He is Hall of Fame track announcer Dan Jukich, who performs magic as he calls each race from his perch high above track level in his broadcast booth.
This season marks the 26th year that Jukich has been behind the microphone at Hastings Racecourse.
He grew up in the east end of Vancouver not far from Exhibition Park, where he was introduced to horse racing as a toddler when his father took him on a tour of the backstretch. The late Roy Jukich Sr. was a longtime sportswriter who covered horse racing for the Vancouver Sun.
“I just about grew up at the track,” Dan says. “I was always hanging around the barn area.”
It was during one of his dad’s assignments at Cloverdale Raceway when Dan, then in his early 20s, was asked to fill in announcing the standardbred races. In time, he wound up calling both the Cloverdale and Hastings thoroughbred races on a full-time basis.
Jukich begins his day studying past performances and statistics of horses during their morning workouts and checking for equipment changes.
“Without question, the most critical part of calling a race is gaining the public’s confidence. You’ve got to do your homework. It might mean going to the barns and talking with trainers or calling an owner at home for the correct pronunciation of a horse’s name. It’s all a very important part of the job.”
Jukich also arranges the Hasting television simulcasting signal that is sent to tracks across North America and has become known as an unofficial goodwill ambassador for his guest appearances at charity functions and for welcoming special guests to watch him work on race days.
“I have the best job in the world and I’m happy to do just about anything to help bring people together to enjoy our product.”
For those folks attending our Race for Resources on June 25, they will quickly realize the talents of one of the best track announcers in the business. Jukich was deservedly inducted in 2015 into the Builders Category of the BC Racing Hall of Fame
The live racing card for our day at the races begins at 1:50 p.m. with a full card that runs throughout the afternoon.
More about Race for Resources, and your tickets.