Track announcer Dave Rodman has enjoyed numerous career accolades and been at the forefront of some historic horse racing moments during a career that has spanned almost four decades. Rodman began his career at the now defunct Jefferson Downs and he currently calls the Pimlico Race Course home.
While the 58-year-old Rodman, a native of New Orleans, has been known as “The Voice of the Preakness” for years, he has not grown tired of calling the second leg of the Triple Crown. This year will mark his 27th anniversary of calling the Preakness Stakes (G1).
“If you don’t get nervous or a little bit of butterflies, it may be time to move on and hang it up,” said Rodman “The thing about the Preakness is, it could be a runaway like Hansel. It could be something monumental and historic like American Pharoah. It could be a blanket finish like Silver Charm, Free House, Captain Bodgit, and Touch Gold stumbling. It could be Afleet Alex going to his knees and getting up to win. You just have to kind of prepare mentally to expect anything.”
Rodman got to know the track early in life, as his horseplayer father, Hyman, would sneak him into Jefferson Downs on weekends. Rodman first got to know the sport through gambling and handicapping.
“He would give me 10 bucks and say, ‘Don’t lose it,'” recalled Rodman. “I would basically bet to show.”
Rodman started his career in 1981, calling races at Jefferson Downs until 1984. In 1985, he was hired by Louisiana Downs to be their full-time track announcer. Eventually he was hired to work in Maryland and would call his first Preakness in 1991.
“My first Preakness I was super nervous, obviously,” said Rodman. “I remember coming from Louisiana, Frankie Brothers was the kingpin of Louisiana Downs and here comes Hansel. Not only did he win, he blew them away. That was my first big fond memory.”
The 2017 Preakness Stakes will run on Saturday, May 20.