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Mirahmadi continues to amaze at Golden Gate mike; Chemo treatments have not affected gallant race caller

By Warren Eves

Courage is found in many places

One venue you’ll find it is in the announcer’s booth at Golden Gate Fields.

Race caller Frank Mirahmadi continues to amaze as he mans the microphone. Nobody could guess he’s being put to yet another ultimate test.

Despite chemo infusion treatments, Frank continues to call each race with aplomb.

“Frank is one of the strongest guys I’ve ever known,” says close friend Jay Richards, former turf editor of the Las Vegas Review. “His race calls at Golden Gate have been bold, authoratative–and as always, extremely precise and accurate. ┬áHe’s not letting chemo treatments get the best of him. It would be tough to maintain a steady level of performance and enthusiasm for anyone undergoing chemo, but to put yourself in public eye and ear(televised nationwide) and sound as strong as always is really a testament to Frank’s courage and determination.

“By all means, please keep him in your prayers for a knockout over cancer!”

No sooner did Jay write those statements when he passed along the news that Jack Van Berg’s grandson has leukemia. That’s why Jack’s son Tom has dispersed his stable in order to focus on the health of his son. We’ve been elated with the meeting big Jack has had in Hot Springs this year.

We hope the Van Berg family and Mirahmadi continue to beat the odds both on and off the racetrack.

Notes scribbled across my official program–Pressure points is grossly overlooked when it comes to handicapping factors. The numbers and sheets guys don’t make adjustments for horses who are under extreme pressure most of the way in a race. We do. We mention this because on Feb., 2 we spotted something we believe can be applied next time out. Soprano’s Sonata broke from the rail in race one. He had to race on the rail under pressure all the way. He was inside five foes before reaching the turn and continued to dig. Soprano’s Sonata wilted in the final 50. We believe this $5,000 claimer is worth using next time should he draw a post outside. Our reasoning is simple. His rider may be able to get him to relax at some point in the race–something he could not do last time. He’ll go for new owner-trainer Steve Manley……………When Fire Starter roared home to win with a 6.23 final fraction on Feb., 2, we went back to see what might have brought about this large run. He was coming off a 1/2 length win at Belmont on turf and the horse he beat returned to win. That’s always a good indicator of strength of race. Guess we’d have to conclude red-hot trainer Ron Moquett has made the difference. The grey broke alert but outward and was 8th LO on the first turn. Going down the backstraight he actually was losing ground to the leaders. Fire Starter began his run to the far turn, threaded his way between rivals early in the stretch while sixth and rallied big. So we might expect the six-year-old to produce another positive run next time he surfaces at the Hot Springs oval…………….The starter at Penn National has to rank among the worst. He waits and waits, and waits some more far too many times. It’s just not a recipe for good starts…………….Unfortunately we have heard nothing from our longtime friend Harry “The Hat” Hacek, famed jockey agent. Since he made his way back to Hot Springs he has not answered continued calls so we will continue to try and make contact with him……….Turfway Park and Sunland Park continue to be the worst for camera views during the loading process. At Turfway they insist on giving viewers this side view during the loading process and you have to guess when they are close to a start. Sunland Park, the place where I lived and worked years ago, may be the worst. Whoever is the video director is obviously not a horse player. They make so many camera switches it makes your head spin. It’s bush to to be sure……………………….I’d like to know why, every darn horse racing announcer feels compelled to use “off the lead” in their calls. What’s even dumber, in my opinion, is harness racing announcers like the one at Yonkers is even doing this. My oh my how I miss the race calls way back when. Nobody comes close to the great Joe Hernandez, who had pause in his calls, while injecting a bit of drama. And then there was Harry Henson, who was as accurate an announcer as there was on the planet. And in harness racing? How about Roy Shudt? Those three late race callers all had their own style and did not copy others.

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About The Author

Warren Eves
Warren Eves is a senior turf writer from the state of California who calls Pearl River, Louisiana his home. The one time editor of the Pasadena Independent Star News moved on to handle publicity for racetracks coast to coast. Eves gained his first exposure to the racetrack through a school buddy the late Art Lerille, Jr., who eventually became a trainer in California. Warren worked as farm manager for crack two-year-old trainer Ray Priddy, before holding on track jobs at the racetrack. He worked for Hall of Fame trainer M.E. "Buster" Millerick, Allen Drumheller, Jr., and Dick Moon. Eves has a well rounded background in all breeds. He developed Quarter Horse Report in 1979 with Ed Burgart, track announcer, at Los Alamitos Race Course. It was an innovative publication which revolutionized the industry with actual descriptions of the workouts. While handling publicity at Saratoga Raceway in upstate New York Eves was named employee of the year in 1970. He also handled publicity for Sunland Park, Centennial Park, Ascot Park, Thistledown, and two harness meetings in California. Eves then went into the 900-line business with his best plays and has compiled his own Kentucky Derby ratings for many years. In 1997 he began going back and forth to Las Vegas teaming up with Ralph Siraco to create the long runining radio show Raceday Las Vegas. Eves has produced and directed many horse racing shows on both radio and television. In 2010 he got a call from Mark Geiger. That's when he began writing www.pricehorsecentral.com. Eves, with a reputation of a trip handicapper, is known for his video tape scrutiny. He currently monitors horse racing in for a major horseplayer. While writing for Ridder Publication at the Pasadena Star News his investigative reporting was highly regarded by his peers. Often on the cutting edge, Eves has been given the green light to write about what issues he sees fit to cover. Have a question. His book "Hold All Tickets" is soon to be made available for those who come to this site. It's a factual account of actual events and happenings that took place in the 70s, 80s and 90s. If Warren doesn't know the answer to a question you may have, he'll tell you up front. Eves won't drop it there, however, he'll find someone who knows the answer and get back to you.

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