Terry Wallace, Oaklawn’s announcer for 37 years, passed away at age 74 following a lengthy illness. Known as “The Voice of Oaklawn” for decades, he began calling races at the Hot Springs track in 1975 and called a record 20,191 consecutive races before ending his streak Jan. 28, 2011. Wallace stepped down as announcer following the 2011 season, but remained a popular ambassador for the track until his retirement 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.”
Originally from Cincinnati, Wallace got his start 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 was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Wallace was also active in the fight against cancer, serving on the boards of several local charities, including the Garland County chapter of the American Cancer Society Leadership Council and his efforts have helped raised nearly $3 million to fight the disease. He was also worked diligently with the United Way. Wallace is survived by his wife, Alice, two sons, one daughter and four grandchildren.