by Pat Mckenna; Mark Bardack
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that its longtime bugler Sam Grossman will retire from his full-time duties on the New York racing circuit on Labor Day, Monday, September 3.
Grossman will issue his final "Call to the Post" at Saratoga Race Course prior to the day's 11th race, bringing a 25-year career to a close.
NYRA will celebrate Grossman's long tenure and accomplishments by naming the afternoon's fifth race in his honor. NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay will present Grossman with a commemorative bugle and plaque during a special winner's circle ceremony, which will include a video tribute.
"Sam is a man of great musical talent who has entertained our guests for 25 years at Saratoga, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack," said Kay. "He is truly a fan favorite. While Sam is retiring from his full-time duties with NYRA, we hope to see him back here next summer at our beloved Saratoga."
A native of Long Island, Grossman was born into a family of classically-trained musicians and began playing the trumpet at 6-years-old. He studied music at the University of Miami, where he earned both his bachelor's degree and a master's degree in music education. Following college, he established himself as a professional musician and played with several bands, including a nationally-touring salsa band.
Grossman began his career with NYRA at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 4, 1993, the same day he witnessed his first live thoroughbred race. Over the past 25 years, he has become one of the most recognizable faces of New York racing and is a favorite amongst fans for his charisma, humor and personality.
"This has been the best time of my life. I have worked with brilliant people who humble me daily. The fans in Saratoga are the most vibrant and colorful people I'd ever want to spend a summer with and the fans in the backyard at Belmont are equally passionate about horseracing and having fun," said Grossman. "The position of racetrack bugler has been around since the mid-1800s and I am honored to have been a part of this history. I would like to thank everyone at NYRA, and especially Chris Kay, for allowing me the honor to entertain our fans for so long."
Following his retirement from full-time duties with NYRA, Grossman will relocate south to the Fort Lauderdale area, where he will reside with his wife, Laura.
The 2018 season at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. For more information, visit NYRA.com.