Dan Jukich: BC Horse Racing Hall of Fame
“I have the best job in the world, and I am happy to do just about anything to help bring people together to enjoy our product,”
This season marks the 26th year that Dan Jukich has been behind the microphone calling the races at Hastings Racecourse. He grew up in the east end of Vancouver not far from Exhibition Park, where he was introduced to horse racing as a toddler when his father took him on a tour of the backstretch. The late Roy Jukich Sr. was a longtime sportswriter who covered horse racing for the Vancouver Sun.
“I just about grew up at the track,” Dan says. “I was always hanging around the barn area.”
It was during one of his dad’s assignments at Cloverdale Raceway when Dan, then in his early 20’s, was asked to fill in announcing the standardbred races. In time, he wound up calling both the Cloverdale and Hastings thoroughbred races on a full-time basis.
You can check more about Dan on this quick interview:
Jukich begins his day studying past performances and statistics of horses during their morning workouts and checking for equipment changes. “Without question,” he says, “the most critical part of calling a race is gaining the public’s confidence. You have got to do your homework. It might mean going to the barns and talking with trainers or calling an owner at home for the correct pronunciation of a horse’s name. It is all a very important part of the job.”
As good a multi-tasker Jukich arranges the Hasting television simulcasting signal that is sent to tracks across North America and has become known as an unofficial goodwill ambassador for his guest appearances at charity functions and for welcoming special guests to watch him work on race days.
“I have the best job in the world, and I am happy to do just about anything to help bring people together to enjoy our product,” he says.
By Greg Douglas