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Company Description

The Horse Racing Radio Network is the Eclipse Award winning broadcast organization, providing live radio coverage of many of the sport's biggest races throughout the year. In 2011, HRRN will broadcast more than 80 stakes races from racetracks across the c ... more

Find other employees at this company (15)

Background Information

Employment History

Track Commentator


Anchorman and Play-By-Play Announcer

MRN Radio



Track Announcer

Churchill Downs Incorporated

Play-by-Play Announcer



Altamont High School

Bachelor's Degree

Political Science

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

political science degree

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Web References (71 Total References)

Kurt Becker and Karen's ... [cached]

Kurt Becker and Karen's Look

Kurt Becker and Karen's Look
Kurt Becker
The Horse Who Changed Everything for me never ran in a stakes race and I never cashed a ticket on him. He finished in the money a lot (32-for-56) in his Midwest pari-mutuel career, but I never saw any of those races.
I met Karen's Look in August of 1975 at the Effingham County Fair in my hometown of Altamont, Illinois. He was a 6-year-old Illinois-bred, and so was I.
Kurt Becker became the first announcer at Keeneland Race Course when he called the opening race of the spring meeting in 1997 and continues to serve as the Lexington track's announcer. An analyst for the Horse Racing Radio Network since 2009, Becker started his career announcing Standardbred and Thoroughbred races as a teenager on the Illinois fair circuit in the mid-1980s before accepting a post as the Voice of Chicago Racing in January of 1993. In the latter role, he succeeded legendary race caller Phil Georgeff at Arlington Park, Hawthorne Race Course, and Sportsman's Park. Becker also works on Motor Racing Network's coverage of NASCAR events and as an announcer for auctions conducted by the Keeneland Association and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

HRRN's Mike Penna will anchor the ... [cached]

HRRN's Mike Penna will anchor the broadcasts along with analyst Kurt Becker.

Testimonials - Diamond Ochs Enterprises Tennessee Auctioneer – Real Estate, Livestock, Charity & Equipment Auctions [cached]

-- Kurt Becker Play-by-Play Announcer for NASCAR's MRN Radio Anchorman for Horse Racing Radio Network Barrett-Jackson/Keeneland Announcer

Team | Horse Racing Radio Network [cached]

Kurt Becker Analyst

Kurt Becker joined HRRN as an analyst in 2009. Kurt began announcing Standardbred and Thoroughbred races as a teenager on the Illinois fair circuit in the mid-1980s, before accepting a post as the Voice of Chicago Racing in January of 1993. In the latter role, he succeeded legendary race caller Phil Georgeff at Arlington Park, Hawthorne Race Course, and Sportsman's Park. After adding duties as a play-by-play announcer for Motor Racing Network's live coverage of NASCAR events in 1994, Becker found his way to Kentucky in the spring of 1997 as the track announcer at both Keeneland Race Course and Churchill Downs. Today, Becker remains as the track commentator at Keeneland while also serving as announcer for auctions conducted by both Keeneland Association and the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society. He also continues in his role with MRN Radio as an anchorman and play-by-play announcer, while adding duties as announcer for Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auctions in 2006.

Kurt ... [cached]

Kurt Becker

Kurt Becker ready for Belmont Stakes
Saturday figures to be a hectic day for Kurt Becker.
And Kurt will be a part of it all.
He will serve as an analyst for the national radio broadcast that will be a joint effort this year between the Horse Racing Radio Network, NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One. Larry Collmus, from NBC Radio, will call the race, and Kurt, who is employed by Horse Racing Radio Network, will provide expert insight and commentary for the event.
"It's exciting," Kurt admitted.
And Kurt went with his Dad as often as possible.
"I went with him to county and state fairs in the Midwest," Kurt recalled.
"As it happened, Dad was supposed to be at Coles County and Edwards County on the same night," Kurt remembered. "I told him I'd like to give it a try and he agreed to let me."
So on August 1, 1985, Kurt's career was officially underway as he called the harness racing events that night.
He was hooked and hungry for more.
Kurt graduated from Altamont High School in 1987 and then attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science eight years later.
Why did it take so long?
"I went to school one semester at a time," Kurt explained. "Then I'd drop out as announcing opportunities came up. I fit schooling in whenever I could."
By age 19, Kurt was hired to call perimutuel harness racing at "The Red Mile" in Lexington, Kentucky. By January 1993, he transitioned to parimutuel thoroughbred racing in Chicago, calling races at Arlington Park, Sportsman's Park and Hawthorne Race Course.
"I just happened to pick up a copy of the Chicago Tribune one day and read that the longtime announcer at Arlington Park was retiring after 35 years," Kurt noted. "It also said they were accepting applications and I thought what the heck."
Kurt was hired.
"In hindsight, being young, willing to work hard and not having a high salary demand all worked in my favor," he said.
Kurt's skills and work ethic continued to open doors. In 1997, he was hired to call races at Churchill Downs in Louisville; and Keeneland Race Course in Lexington. He still calls races and conducts horse auctions at Keeneland.
Along the way, the opportunity to get involved with motor racing came along. He began covering NASCAR races for the Motor Racing Network in 1994.
"The Demo Derby at the Effingham County Fair was my first exposure to motor sports and I never got over it," Kurt admitted.
Kurt, who said his life is still based in Altamont and owns a home there, noted the bulk of his work is done from April through Thanksgiving. In addition to motor sports and horse racing, he also announces at several horse auctions during the year and at the week-long Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Sale in Scottsdale, Arizona, in late January.
But Saturday, he will be focused on horse racing and American Pharoah's shot at becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Seattle Slew did it in 1977 and the great Secretariat won all three legs in 1973.
This will be the fourth time Kurt has been involved with the radio broadcast of the Belmont Stakes. He has also called the Kentucky Derby, which he refers to as the pinnacle in horse racing.
Kurt has already started preparing for the race. He spends a minimum of two hours a day looking up resources and reading articles on American Pharoah and the other horses entered. He will contact other horsemen and racing experts, trying to determine why this horse might or might not accomplish this rare feat.
He will watch previous videos of American Pharoah and other Belmont races. He will also rely on the notes he has accumulated over the past two months and his observations from the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
"I have to be as prepared as possible on Belmont day," Kurt emphasized.
As for Saturday's race, Kurt expects American Pharoah to be standing in the winner's circle.
"I just don't see a real threat," he said.
Kurt said the one question seems to be jockey Victor Espinoza.
"Some critics say he's the weak link in the equation," Kurt added. "I think that criticism is unfair. If he comes out of the gate and rides with confidence, I think he's good to go."
Kurt admitted it's going to be a hectic two days.
On Friday night, he will be calling a Camping World Truck Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He probably won't even get back to his motel room until midnight or after.
But that will not affect his anticipation and enthusiasm for the big race day.
"Whoever wins deserves their day in the sun and we have an obligation to discuss either outcome," Kurt said.

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