There is no sound more exciting to the racetrack customer than the trenchant, nasal exclamation of “They’re off!” by Fred Capossela. With this brief expression, the New York track announcer sums up the promise of clamorous jockeys, flailing whips and eager-to-race horses springing from the starting gate. (Tuite)
Capossela was NYRA’s track announcer for 37 years, a beloved fixture at the New York tracks. In Saratoga, I still hear (possibly apocryphal?) stories of his walking into a restaurant and offering his signature phrase: “It is now post time!”
Internet discussion boards, chat rooms, and comment sections are rife with opinions on track announcers: who blew what call, who’s your favorite, who’s the best ever. Each announcer has his style and his signature calls; Capossela was no different, and as I suspect is the case with many announcers, his approach was the result of cultivation, not accident.