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Yonkers welcomes leading Aussie track announcer

Yonkers welcomes leading Aussie track announcer
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - by Frank Drucker, publicity director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers, NY --- It wasn't exactly a convening of the U-N General Assembly. However, Yonkers Raceway did its part for international relations Monday night (May 11), welcoming preeminent Australian track announcer Fred Hastings and his family.

Mike Lizzi photo

Yonkers announcer John Hernan (leftl) welcomed Fred Hastings to the booth on Monday.

Mr. Hastings is Sydney Metropolitan's chief harness caller, including at the country's premier venue, Menangle. He is the voice of Australasia's signature races, the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion Championships, as well as the recent World Driving Championship.

He and his family -- wife Cheryl, daughters Megan and Lizzie -- visited Yonkers, then Mr. Hastings was immediately put to work. After a race presentation, he filled in for Yonkers' own John Hernan, announcing races seven, eight and nine, as they were included in the nine races that were simulcast Down Under.

Mr. Hastings' American announcing debut may be viewed at (go to archived replays of Monday's races).
"It was a pipe dream of mine to do this," he said. "I've been watching Yonkers' races for quite some time back home, and I know the history of the track, so to get to announce here was such a treat."

The Raceway's live season continues Tuesday (1 p.m., second round of the Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 p.m.). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.

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