Santa Anita commentator receives death threat

ARCADIA, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Jockey Kent Desormeaux celebrates atop Texas Red after crossing the finish line to win the 2014 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on November 1, 2014 in Arcadia, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty

Santa Anita has put on additional security to protect Michael Wrona

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

 By Stuart Riley 12:49AM 7 JUL 2016 

SANTA ANITA racecourse is putting on personal security for new commentator Michael Wrona after threats against his life were made on a hosreracing blog.

The threats are thought to come from a “fixated” fan of the replaced announcer Trevor Denman but, while his identity is known to local police and he has been contacted, an arrest has not been made.

For over a month Wrona has been escorted to and from his commentary booth from the carpark by two armed, plain-clothed security officers, and has been instructed to lock his booth when alone.

The LA Times reported: “Multiple people familiar with the incident, who did not want their names used because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the person is a local resident with a developmental social disorder. He has also been tied to a threat against New York race caller Larry Collmus, who replaced Denman as the voice of the Breeders’ Cup, according to a Santa Anita official.”

It’s not been pleasant’

The 50-year-old Wrona – who won the job in a four-way audition from, among others, English commentator David Fitzgerald – said: “It’s certainly unfortunate that I’ve been encumbered by this situation, it’s not been pleasant. At the same time the security people at Santa Anita have been first class in their handling of this.

“It has inhibited my ability to circulate. For example, Clocker’s Corner [where trainers, jockeys and fans gather in the morning to watch workouts] is the main example of something I couldn’t do. It will be put behind me by the next meeting.”

Explaining why an arrest has not been made, Arcadia Police Lieutenant Roy Nakamura told the LA Times: “Based on the information we’ve been able to gather, we are comfortable that he is not a threat at this time. He’s enamored with Trevor Denman and he’s upset with the fact that Trevor is no longer going to be announcing the races. He’s fixated on Trevor.”

Denman himself added: “It’s really, really strange. Hopefully nothing will ever come of it. And hopefully it will never happen again. But it’s still a terrible thing to have hanging over your head.”

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