Churchill Hires A Brit To Be New Track Announcer

Louisville, KY – Forty-two year old Mark Johnson was among five finalists for the job. All of

them were given a week's audition during the Churchill Downs fall meet.

Johnson's biggest test will come on the first Saturday in May, when he'll

call his first Kentucky Derby. He's never attended the event, but says he

has long appreciated the spectacle from afar, particularly the playing of

"My Old Kentucky Home,"

(i can tell you, i will have the hugest lump in my throat, it gets you just four

thousand miles away across the pond, so believe me when i'm stood at the

top of that booth, it will definitely get to me).

Johnson, who will continue to work in Britain as well, becomes Churchill Downs'

sixth announcer. His predecessor, Luke Kruytbosch, suffered a fatal heart

attack last July.