Keeneland Announcer Becker Sidelined With COVID-19 - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Keeneland Announcer Becker Sidelined With COVID-19

Keeneland track announcer Kurt Becker with American Pharoah at Ashford Stud in 2015 after the Triple Crown winner took the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland

Kurt Becker, the only track announcer in Keeneland's history, tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss Saturday's final day of the Lexington, Ky., track's fall meeting.

A statement from Keeneland said Becker, who ended the “silent era” by becoming Keeneland's first race caller in 1997, is “experiencing only mild symptoms and he is resting at home.”

Keeneland did not indicate what day Becker was tested. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department protocol in other cases with mild symptoms required a minimum 10 days in isolation following a positive test. Unless his condition worsens, that would free Becker from isolation in time to provide the on-track call of the Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland.

The statement from Keeneland said: “In adherence to Keeneland's Healthy at Work protocols, track announcer Kurt Becker will miss closing day of the Fall Meet as he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Kurt is experiencing only mild symptoms and he is resting at home. We look forward to his speedy recovery and to welcoming him back for the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland on Nov. 6-7.”

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that two other unnamed individuals working at Keeneland tested positive this week, one a year-round employee and the other seasonal.

Travis Stone, track announcer at Churchill Downs, filled in for Becker on Saturday's closing-day card. Churchill Downs begins its fall meet on Sunday.


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