'Voice of Oaklawn' Terry Wallace Dead at 74

'Voice of Oaklawn' Terry Wallace Dead at 74
Terry Wallace, on the job at Oaklawn Park.

Terry Wallace, the longtime race announcer at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs, died at age 74, track officials confirmed Thursday.

Wallace, Oaklawn's announcer for 37 years, died following a lengthy illness, according to a statement from the thoroughbred racetrack. He began calling races in 1975, beginning a record streak of 20,191 consecutive races that ended Jan. 28, 2011. 

Wallace stepped down as announcer following the 2011 season but remained involved with the track until retiring in 2017.

"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 Wallace's calls.

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

A Cincinnati native, Wallace received the Mr. Fritz Award from the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association in 2011 and was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.