Terry Wallace, 'The Voice of Oaklawn,' dies at age 74

Terry Wallace (Photo courtesy: Oaklawn Racing and Gaming)

"The Voice of Oaklawn" Terry Wallace has died at the age of 74 following a lengthy illness.

Wallace, Oaklawn Park's longtime track announcer, began calling races in 1975 and called a record 20,191 consecutive races before stepping down after the 2011 season. Although he was no longer an announcer, Oaklawn said he remained a popular ambassador for the track until retiring in 2017.

"Terry was one of the legends of Oaklawn," Senior Vice President Eric Jackson said. "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 Wallace "had a way of making even a mundane race seem incredibly exciting" as he listened to him calling the races while growing up.

Originally from Cincinnati, Wallace began announcing at River Downs in his hometown as well as Great Barrington, Louisiana Downs, Ak-Sar-Ben and Horsemen’s Park.

He was inducted into the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and received the Mr. Fritz Award from the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association.

Wallace served on the board for the Garland County chapter of the American Cancer Society Leadership Council and worked with the United Way.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, one daughter and four grandchildren.

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