Vic Stauffer WOWS Them

Courtesy of Becky Johnston 

Vic Stauffer was a hit at Indiana Academy (high school) this spring.  I forwarded his great call of a race and a remarkable recovery by a filly to a friend's daughter.  She showed it to many or her classmates who first asked "Why are you watching horse racing?"  Afterwards, they all had the same response, "WOW". 

Hollywood Park Race 7-April 23, 2009


Vic StaufferThere are only a handful of announcers that I can put in with Vic.  In fact, I think I would only need two fingers to name my favorites.  Fortunately, I have been able to tell Vic on numerous occasions how much I admire his work.  All too often, we find reasons to be critical of people and our nature lends itself to finding our voice at those times.  While dissent should be vocalized, it is just as important when you can tell someone they do a great job. 

Vic is truly one of the good guys and a great ambassador for this sport.  When it comes to being fan-friendly, I'm not sure anyone can top him.  I awoke July 4th to an email including photos of Zenyatta with Vic on the end of the shank.  He deemed it "an audience with the Queen".    I had guests last week and did not get a chance to write him a proper reply, but showed the pictures to everyone.  When I heard he was ill on Sunday, I could have kicked myself for not telling him how much I enjoyed the photos.

This past Saturday, Hollywood Gold Cup Day, we had a houseful here in Florida.  I was fortunate enough to be hosting the Indiana Academy student who loved Vic's call and passed it around amongst her friends.  Not only that, Allicansayis Wow was scheduled to run.  The television announcers were sure she could not duplicate her synthetic form on the turf.  I did what any good gambling role model for a teenager would do and I grumbled over to my laptop and brimming with confidence, I loaded up on her.  I know Vic would have approved.  When she won, we nearly blew the roof off the house.  A winner for us and another great call by Vic was in the books. 

Here is a salute to Vic Stauffer and a get-well wish from his Florida Fan Club.


Perched in a precarious rooftop box Vic calls a "SHAKER" June 16, 2005



2005 Hollywood Gold Cup - Lava Man



11/22/07 Maiden Race - Zenyatta



2008 Milady - Zenyatta



2005 Florida Derby - Barbaro



2000 Florida Derby - Hal's Hope


2008 Swaps Stakes - Tres Borrachos



2004 Swaps Stakes - Rock Hard Ten


2004 Donn Handicap - Medaglia D'Oro


2009 Hollywood Gold Cup - Rail Trip


Leave a Comment:


Vic is truly an ambassador for our sport.  He's enthusiastic, knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. He'll answer a novice's question without hesitation. Vic's calls are among the best, if not the best.

Get well soon, Vic!

13 Jul 2009 4:53 PM
steve from st. louis

Vic is ok as an announcer and I wish him well. He's like a vanilla wafer--you certainly can't dislike him but there's nothing there to go crazy about, either. In 1977, I interviewed a young Tom Durkin on the roof (scary) of the defunct Cahokia Downs in East. St. Louis and knew the Wisconsin native was going to be a good one. Of course, another Cahokia Downs alum, Dave Johnson, had a pretty great career, too. My favorite of all time is Phil Georgeff of Chicago. No one was more exciting. He sounded like he had a big bet on every winner. The late Luke Kruytbosch could have been one of the all-time greats.

13 Jul 2009 4:58 PM

We miss your calls Vic!  Get well soon and come back strong.  No one puts the enthusiasm into it like Vic does and we'll be cheering him on!

13 Jul 2009 5:11 PM
John Henry

I think Vic is fantastic. He is one of only 2 announcers in the country (the other being Durkin) whose calls I really look forward to hearing in big races. He and Durkin really add to the excitement in big races with their great calls. Some of Vic's calls have been so exciting and so dramatic that I have practically gotten goose bumps.

We love you and we miss you Vic. We hope you have a full and speedy recovery.

13 Jul 2009 5:29 PM
Becky Johnston

To those of us that know Vic you know he is anything but a vanilla wafer.  He has personality to burn, self-depracating (he would call himself a vanilla wafer), funny and knows his stuff.  He is kind to everyone, spares no opportunity to interest fans in the sport.  He is everything this sport needs in it's ambassadors.  

13 Jul 2009 5:59 PM

Vic Stauffer is the best announcer to ever to call a horse race..  He's accurate, He's enthusiastic, He's a Legend. Get Well Soon Vic. Race Fans in NY Love You.

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13 Jul 2009 7:08 PM

hes spends to much time trying to come up with a great call, and misses the obvious. the great call will come be patient.

13 Jul 2009 7:38 PM

When the  " WOODLANDS RACE TRACK" KANSAS CITY KS.OPENED IN 1989, VIC WAS TO BECOME IT'S RACE CALLER.  I could tell he had a lot to give with his exciting calls.  It was not long before he moved up to the Bigger top Race Tracks.   My Family and I hope you are back at the track soon. BEST WISHES!

13 Jul 2009 8:31 PM

Vic Stauffer calls with great emotion, especially at the end of the race. He's a standup kinda guy.  What you see is what you get.  No GQ, just a plain simple guy who has a passion for calling the races. Get well soon.

13 Jul 2009 8:38 PM

Stauffer and Durkin are hands down the two best announcers around... Stauffer's call of Barbaro's Florida Derby still gives me goosebumps.

13 Jul 2009 9:18 PM

Vic is one of the best.  We had the pleasure of going up on the roof to watch Vic call a race. He was a very gracious host.

Thanks, Vic, and get well soon!!

13 Jul 2009 11:30 PM

get well soon Vic. the call of Hal's Hope winning the Fla. Derby warmed my heart . Tears welled up for the underdog during that stretch battle in 2000 .

13 Jul 2009 11:58 PM

Vic is a really special kind of person. Loves the sport, is very knowledgable and will give the fans all he has every time.

Thanks Vic for some really great calls and because of you and your love for Zenyatta, we had that great "Zenyatta Day" last year. I came to Los Angeles just for that day to honor a great filly and a trully great announcer. Get well big guy so you can call some more WHACKERS! Miss seeing you on TVG!

14 Jul 2009 2:23 AM

Vanilla wafer? America's favorite flavor, vanilla! With hot fudge, nuts, cherry on top! He's my favorite caller.

14 Jul 2009 6:11 AM
Echo Farm

Vic, Get well soon!

You're the greatest!

14 Jul 2009 9:02 AM

Ok, what's wrong with Vic? I know he is sick, but does anyone know more?

14 Jul 2009 10:55 AM

Vic, to me you are truly one of a few announcers that I truly get excited about in a race when you call it.  You should call the KY Derby and/or BC...that kind of enthusiasm and emotion when calling a race is what is needed to catch the viewer's attention.   It always amazes me when you guys call a race and are able to distinguish between horses and accurately describe the stretch and order of finish.  That in itself is a talent few can attempt.  I admire your passion for the sport and love of the horse.  Get well soon...we need you.

14 Jul 2009 12:07 PM
Tim G

Tom and Vic are two of my favs. Ed Burgart from Los Al and Frank Mirahmadi who took Luke's place at Turf Paradise both do an okay job.

The Worst? Why oh why did NBC give up the BC? They have a contract with Tom and we're forced to suffer Trevor Denman's nasal twang. The new guy at CD? NEVER shuts up.

What is the fascination we suddenly have with these South African, Kiwi, Brit announcers?

Ahhh for the days of Harry Henson!

14 Jul 2009 1:40 PM

Glad to hear Vic is doing good and will be back at the track soon. My prayers to you and can't wait to hear ya on TVG. Thoughts from Louisville, KY

14 Jul 2009 1:43 PM

Dear Vic, I hope you get well soon and get back to calling races.  I was so sad and disappointed to hear that you wouldn't be calling races this Sunday.  I have never had the pleasure to hear your calls live, I am on the east coast.  I feel you are better caller than Tom Durkin, because sometimes Tom goes all soap opera on a call and the race isn't even over.  I hope some day to hear you in person and I love all the calls you do. ( I especially love the Zenyatta calls, the earthquake call, and the Barbaro/Sharp Humor call. I was one of the few rooting for Sharp Humor.) Get well soon!

Ps I would love to thank the author for supplying the AllIcansayiswow call. She is a favorite of mine cause she tries every race, every time.

14 Jul 2009 4:19 PM

Vic, you are a great announcer! Exciting, enthusiastic and exceptionally accurate in a profession that takes a lot of skill! Get well and come back soon! It's not the same without you!

14 Jul 2009 5:32 PM

Hope Vics on the mend.

Good ambassador for the game but at best a middle of the pack caller.

14 Jul 2009 9:05 PM
Vic Stauffer

Cmon Kacy I call the leaders and back markers as well. Not just the middle of the pack.

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful kind words and wishes.

I'm feeling much better and ready to get back at it.

All the best.


15 Jul 2009 1:09 AM

 I wondered where Vic was weekend.

It certainly is not the same without him. I really enjoy listening to Vic. His passionate piece on Lost In The Fog sold me on his genuine feeling for the equine heros of this game. I have never heard of a racecaller actually visit the horses. I want him in NY when Durkin is out of town. He would make the dismal big A light up for once.

Get well quick, Vic. Miss you!

15 Jul 2009 4:14 AM

We ran a little gelding at The Woodlands in the mid 90s{non winner, at the bottom} cheapest horse I ever ran but the most exciting winning race call I ever heard. Thanks Vic, get well soon.

15 Jul 2009 6:56 AM

We ran a horse at Fresno in the late 1990's.  The horse wound up pulling up in the race and Vic did a good and accurate job at discribing the incident.  I do have a bone to pick with Vic though.  One time he stole a parking spot in a strip mall in Sacramento right underneath me pretty much!

15 Jul 2009 11:25 PM
Shan Collett DVM

In race 2 on June 16, 2005 at Hollywood Park Vic calls a race which proves that no matter what's going on the show must go on. This race is a perfect example of Vic's committement to horse racing as he professes his first love and his love for us all. Thanks Vic

16 Jul 2009 11:47 AM
FOY 2004

My favorite call (I still watch this replay a few times a year) is the 2004 Fountain of Youth by Vic.  Read the Footnotes took on Second of June and as they battled in the stretch  "The two of them throw it down!"  And as Read the Footnotes won by a nose:  "It's a headline now!"  Awesome!!!

17 Jul 2009 7:01 AM

So Cal racing has been blessed with some fine race callers.  Vic is superb, whether calling HP or on the Fair circuit.

However, to the comment about the nasal twang of Trevor, may I say that Trevor paints a picture of a race.  One can sit near the walking ring at SA, not look at any screen and know what is happening on the track.  If you have a ticket on a horse and Trevor says at about the 3/8ths pole that the rider is going to the whip, start looking at the next race.  Your ticket is toast.  The only miss by Trevor came when he was auditioning to take Dave Johnson's place.  He was going into his "go stand in the payoff queue" on a Sandy Hawley ridden heavy favorite in the feature, when, suddenly, Kangaroo Kourt roared by.  Pick Sixers were not amused as they felt Sandy had eased after hearing Trevor's call.  However, Joe Steiner and Johnny Longden were very happy for the Kangaroo win.

But, thanks to Steve from St Louis, Georgoff is somewhere "spinning outta the turn" and "picking 'em up and layin' 'em down like Gangbusters".  Now, who was that Eastern race caller in New Jersey, who could mimic all the great race callers and even called some races as Borscht Belt comedians?

17 Jul 2009 9:28 AM
phil m

I'm sorry to hear Vic is under the weather and certainly wish him a speedy recovery.  

He is a fantastic announcer....BUT....his tone comes off as angry to me especially near the end of races.    I recognize he is being emotional and i would never want to discourage that but i definitely think he needs to make an adjustment when he returns to his well deserved perch.    

18 Jul 2009 11:31 PM
Clem from Detroit

Vic used to announce at the old Detroit Race Course, just after Ladbroke bought it.  He had some big shoes to fill, as Jack Riggs was the announcer prior to Vic and Jack was also a great announcer.  

(That 2006 Florida Derby was really something.  Barbaro tore up Sharp Humor and Sharp was never the same after that race.  Every time I see this race replayed, tears well up in my eyes for no apparent reason.  Sharp made 2 moves - Barbaro got past him once - I think this is as close as any horse got to beating Barbaro...  and it was Sharp's first race around 2 turns...  This race is truly an example of what champion thoroughbred instinct is all about...)

20 Jul 2009 12:35 PM
Abbie Knowles

Get well soon Mr Stauffer and thanks for the wonderfuul videos Becky.

The Godolphin website used to be called ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW because that is what the wonderful Clare Balding said when the greatly missed Dubai Millenium slammed his rivals and sauntered to an easy triumph in the World Cup in Dubai in 2000! What a horse!

Love the pic of darling Zenyatta too and her videos!  Wonderful to see our beloved Barbaro, lovable Lava Man and the rapidly improving Rail Trip by Jump Start by A P Indy by SEATTLE SLEW!!!!!!!!  

Great to see "Funny," Seattle Fitz and Medaglio D'Oro and the great, great Jerry Bailey.  If you have not read his book Against the Odds then you should.  IT is fabulous!

Mr Stauffer is a wonderful commentator.  We have great ones over here too.  Mark Johnson you know!  Also Sir Peter O'Sullevan, Simon Holt and Richard Hoiles who once, memorably said, when Novice Chasers were jumping particularly badly "It is all thud and blunder!  Also Aussie Jim is brilliant!  

Like the Aussie commentators that I hear on ATR's Australian coverage but have no idea who they are.  Still miss Godolphin's former nuber two Kerrin McEvoy and go "Yes" everytime he rides a winner for Darley in Australia!  But he and his family are Australian after all!  Bet he is missed by Godolphin in Newmarket though!  

Still they do have the brilliant ex camel rider Ahmed Ajtebi and the incomparable Frankie Dettori!

I can waffle can't i?

God Bless

Love in Jesus


21 Jul 2009 8:26 PM
Kevin S

I don't listen to announcers when I am watching races, but Vic was a great guy to work with. We really miss him at Gulfstream. He is definitely a character and has a lot of great stories. One of the good guys in the game.

25 Jul 2009 6:17 PM

Vic is an absolute tremendous race caller.  When Durkin gives it up, and that may be sooner than we think, I hope it's Vic that takes his place.  Tom has been the best over the years so it's without debate that the second best (and that's NOT Denman) should take his place and that man is Vic.

To berttheclock, the man your thinking of is Larry Lederman, the race caller at Freehold Raceway.  

26 Jul 2009 10:16 PM

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