Ellis Park names new track announcer

HENDERSON — Bill Downes, current announcer for Presque Isle Downs in Ohio, has been named as the new permanent track announcer for Ellis Park.

Downes, who has called races for Beulah Park and River Downs as well as Presque Isle Downs, will replace announcer Luke Kruytbosch. Kruytbosch died at age 47 on July 14.

Downes, also an accomplished handicapper, will assume his duties at Ellis Park on Aug. 6. An announcer has not yet been named to replace Downes at Presque Isle Downs.

”Bill is an incredible announcer, and we are very pleased to bring such an up and coming young talent to Ellis Park,“ said Ellis Park owner Ron Geary. ”Luke was a legend and one of the best announcers in the country. Luke is very difficult to replace, but we feel Bill will be a great addition to the Ellis Park team.“

Kruytbosch mentored Downes throughout his announcing career and helped Downes polish his announcing skills.

Since Kruytbosch's passing Ellis Park has patched together the meet with substitute announcers. Mike Battaglia from Turfway Park, and Keith Nelson from the Woodlands have both performed intermediate calling duties.

”We were grateful for Mike to come in at the last minute to fill in for us, and we have been very pleased and impressed with Keith,“ Geary said.

Ellis Park conducts live Thoroughbred racing through Labor Day, Wednesday through Sunday.