Angela Hermann to make history calling races at Canterbury Park

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 6, 2013 - 12:10 AM
hide

Angela Hermann normally is Canterbury’s paddock analyst, but Saturday she will be calling races.

Photo: Photo Courtesy of Canterbury,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

No matter how hard she tried, Angela Hermann always seemed to wake her mother, Mary, on those frequent nights when she sneaked out of bed. Not even the fear of parental wrath could keep the 11-year-old away from the TV for the late-night show recapping the horse races at Canterbury Park. ¶ It was, Hermann admits, a strange obsession for a preteen girl. Unlike so many youthful flirtations, it only got stronger — which led her to an even more unusual place. Saturday, Hermann will call eight races at Canterbury, becoming the first woman in North America to announce a full thoroughbred race card.

The Apple Valley native got her first job at the Shakopee track when she was 16. Now 27, she is wrapping up her third season as Canterbury’s paddock analyst, handicapping races for the television feed shown at the track and around the country. She will fill in Saturday for regular track announcer Paul Allen, who will be in Detroit handling his other job doing radio play-by-play for the Vikings game.

“I’m very, very nervous inside, but I can’t show it,’’ said Hermann, who has called about a dozen races this summer. “It will be nerve-racking no matter what. But that’s what’s fun about it. There aren’t too many things that can get you going like that while you’re sitting still.’’

According to research by the Daily Racing Form and Canterbury Park, no woman has called a full thoroughbred card in the United States or Canada. The Form reported that Australia has one woman working as a full-time race caller, and another is training to become England’s first female racing announcer.

Hermann already was a horse-crazy girl in 1998, when Real Quiet’s victory in the Kentucky Derby made her heart race. She began watching the sport on TV every chance she got — including those late-night Canterbury recaps.

“I got in trouble a lot,’’ she said, “but I loved it.’’

At Canterbury, Hermann started as a clubhouse usher; four years later, she had landed a spot on the pre-race TV show and paddock preview. She was hired as the paddock analyst at Nebraska’s Lincoln Race Course in 2008 and took the same job at Canterbury in 2011. Last spring — during her first season as the paddock analyst at Hawthorne in Chicago — announcer Peter Galassi suggested she try calling a race.

Saturday’s card will be more challenging than her debut, which featured only three horses. Allen, who has been tutoring Hermann, said the most difficult part of calling races is overcoming anxiety and not obsessing over mistakes.

“Angela is playing very confidently, and she’s learning to build a crescendo,’’ said Allen, Canterbury’s announcer since 1995. “I never doubted her verve and passion.’’

Allen said he would like to see Hermann develop enough skill to become a full-time race announcer. She prefers the analyst’s role, where she can interact more with fans and share her love of the sport.

Saturday, Hermann will wear both hats. She is preparing for her calls by handicapping the races, to familiarize herself with the horses’ names and tendencies. In the booth, she will rely on her excellent memory and ability to speak quickly, yet clearly.

“It’s exciting to see it all come together and know that people are on board with it,’’ Hermann said. “I like to know that for all the women who have made history in this sport, I’m going to add my name to the list.’’

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - WP: S. Carroll 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 2
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 11 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 6
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: C. Tillman 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 2 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: V. Black 5
Boston - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Fields 3
Minnesota - WP: K. Correia 9 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 3
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 10
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 5 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
Washington - WP: R. Detwiler 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Wilson 6 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 5
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 5 FINAL
Texas - LP: M. Mikolas 2
San Diego - LP: K. Quackenbush 0 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: K. Jansen 1
Oakland - LP: J. Chavez 2 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 6
Colorado 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Houston 2 FINAL
Toronto FC 4
Columbus 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
Chicago 1 FINAL
New England 0
Sporting Kansas City 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
Chivas USA 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 34 FINAL
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 26 FINAL
Saskatchewan 13
Atlanta 93 FINAL
Indiana 74
Washington 91 FINAL
Tulsa 74

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What are you most looking forward to during All-Star festivities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close