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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - Oaklawn Track Announcer Terry Wallace is greeted by racing fans and friends in 2011. Wallace ended his record of consecutive race calls at 20,191 when he handed over the microphone to Frank Mirahmadi on Jan. 28, 2011. - Photo by Benjamin Krain

Terry Wallace, the longtime Oaklawn Park announcer who called thousands of races at the Hot Springs track, has died after health complications, officials said. He was 74.

Oaklawn spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyt confirmed Thursday that Wallace died from complications with supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder.

Wallace, who was known as “The Voice of Oaklawn” for decades, began calling races at the Hot Springs track in 1975 and called a record 20,191 consecutive races before ending his streak Jan. 28, 2011.

“Terry was one of the legends of Oaklawn,” Senior Vice President Eric Jackson said in a news release. “For generations of Arkansas racing fans, he was the voice of Oaklawn and for a time he was the most recognized voice in the state. It’s a very sad day for the Oaklawn family as we have lost an important part of our history.”

Oaklawn President Lou Cella said he grew up listening to Terry Wallace’s calls of the Oaklawn races.

“He had so many classic calls,” Cella said. “And he had a way of making even a mundane race seem incredibly exciting.”

Lou Cella said in a release that it was exactly one year ago that Oaklawn lost his father and longtime Oaklawn president, Charles Cella.

Wallace, a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, stepped down as announcer following the 2011 season, but remained a popular ambassador for the track until his retirement in 2017.

Wallace was also active in the fight against cancer. He worked with the United Way and the organization recognized him last year with a special tribute for his years of service to the community.

In the coming years, the United Way will bestow the Terry Wallace Volunteer Award, according to an Oaklawn news release.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments

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  • drs01
    December 6, 2018 at 11:12 a.m.

    For years he was not only the voice of OAKLAWN but the face as well. I hope the Cellas will honor him for all he did for the greater good of Oaklawn racing. RIP Terry.

  • hogfan2012
    December 6, 2018 at 12:39 p.m.

    Well said DR501. When I think of Oaklawn, my mind can hear the voice of Terry Wallace.

  • mozarky2
    December 6, 2018 at 1:17 p.m.

    ...and into the stretch, it's YAYO
    AAAAANDARIEGO!

  • MaxCady
    December 6, 2018 at 1:44 p.m.

    He most definitely was a legend.

  • hah406
    December 6, 2018 at 2:02 p.m.

    He was the best. First heard him call a race when I was 10 years old and not even supposed to be in the track. Oaklawn should commission a statue of him calling a race.

  • Justthefaqsmaam
    December 6, 2018 at 2:12 p.m.

    Nobody can call the Oaklawn races like Terry Wallace

  • Wowy
    December 6, 2018 at 2:42 p.m.

    Love love love Terry Wallace as the voice of Oaklawn.
    Class act all the way down. He loved those who loved the races.
    Terry spawned a couple generations of horse racing lovers.

    I can her him shout, "And their off!!" God, everything is leaving for a higher Quantum

  • Packman
    December 6, 2018 at 3:22 p.m.

    Those that knew him say Terry Wallace was a heck of a guy and a true gentleman. RIP Mr. Wallace. Thanks for the memories.

  • Delta2
    December 6, 2018 at 6:16 p.m.

    As a kid, listening to the calls of the races on AM radio via our local station, Wallace made you feel like you were right there. The enthusiasm, the slight drawl yet clear enunciation, and the consistency were the things that made Wallace great.

  • NoCrossNoCrown
    December 8, 2018 at 6:49 p.m.

    There will never be another track announcer that can duplicate the race calls the Terry made
    His calls are legendary and memorable, plus you weren't too shabby at handicapping.
    Wish I could have heard him call one of mine home and hear my name announced in the winners circle.
    But rest on Mr. Wallace, you leave us with a lifetime of memories and smiles
    "Here they come into the short stretch of the mile run"
    ....RIP Terry, See you in the winners circle

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