Monday, July 14, 2008

Passing of a great one

Former Sunland Park track announcer Luke Kruytbosch was found dead on Monday in his Evansville, Indiana apartment.
Kruytbosch was the race caller at Churchill Downs and had called the last 10 Kentucky Derbies since 1999. The famed announcer also worked for Turf Paradise in Arizona and Ellis Park in Kentucky.
The University of Arizona graduate was Sunland Park’s announcer in the early 1990’s and also called the races at the Downs at Albuquerque, Ruidoso Downs and Hollywood Park.
His meteoric rise in the racing industry was powered by enormous talent and hard work. He was considered by many racing purists to be one of the finest Thoroughbred race callers in the nation.
Kentucky Derby winning owner Mike Pegram, a close friend, said Kruytbosch is survived by his father and a sister.
Pegram added, “He was the absolute best, man. If everybody in racing was like him, we’d have a better industry. The man did nothing but have a smile on his face. You don’t meet many friends or have people like him in hour life. I just can’t believe he’s gone.”
According to the Evansville Courier web site, the cause of death appeared natural as was likely coronary related. Kruytbosch was only 45-years-old.

As a side note, I did a story on Luke last year and he was very fortcoming about his career and how he got started. He returned this year as well to call the races and everyone seemed to care for him and enjoy him being around again.

It's sad to see someone as talented as Luke die. He had so much to offer both personally and professionally. He seemed to remember all the hard work and dedication it took to get where he was and he seemed to remember all those who had helped him along the way.

He was very descriptive in calling the races and he was accurate as well. I don't think he'll be forgotten in the racing ranks.

- Felix