Day At The Track

Scott Ehrlich to call at Cumberland

02:18 AM 23 Apr 2021 NZST
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Scott Ehrlich, harness racing
Scott Ehrlich is the new announcer at Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME - Throughout a harness racing career that has spanned nearly five decades, Scott Ehrlich finds himself back where it all started: behind the microphone calling the action in Southern Maine at First Tracks Cumberland.

Tapped as the new voice of First Tracks Cumberland, the self-taught handicapper and racing enthusiast said, "Things are 'looking up' when I am looking down from high atop the grandstand. It's where I have always loved to be."

Somewhat of a familiar tone around the state of Maine, Ehrlich has been the back-up announcer at the popular Fryeburg Fair for the last ten years.

But Ehrlich is no stranger to the announcer's booth having been the primary race caller over the years at Cal Expo, Balmoral and Maywood.

"Much of my early success I owe to Phil Langley, who advocated for me with Billy Johnston and got me into his tracks to announce full time," Ehrlich remembers fondly. "I grew up in Chicago so it was a great honor work at these prestigious raceways."

He has also provided backup at tracks throughout the Northeast and Midwest.

It was at Quad City Downs where he got his first big break, calling those races from the late 80s to the mid-90s.

The knowledgeable and affable Ehrlich will also provide live pre-race analysis as well as racing recap publicity for this new era in Maine harness competition.

While Scott is looking forward to his role as the on-air handicapper, he exclaims that he is no 'average Joe,' "I like to provide insight that you won't see in the program...trip notes, time adjustments, etc."

"From me, you won't see the generic stuff. Not only will you get my picks, but you get why."

Ehrlich calls upon his wide range of experiences when working in the industry. Not only are his tip-sheets sought after, but in some instances he has outfitted the horses that he picks!

"I realized that a niche needed to be filled so I started and now am proud to be in my fifth year as owner/operator of Expo Tack shop, serving horsemen and women with horse equipment on the backstretch of Cal Expo," stated Ehrlich.

n addition, he also owns a few horses. Scott says that, "Since I watch/called what seems like a million races, you get to know what each horse likes/dislikes. Additionally, you become well aware of the trainers and their abilities, not to mention the drivers, as well as little things like current race-bikes, to not so current."

"And when a horse I see might be racing for a low percentage trainer, and/or driver, and perhaps on a smaller track that doesn't fit their style, that's when I'll buy or claim a horse, who almost assuredly is a closer. You'll never see me acquire a horse from a top stable that uses a high percentage driver. What advantage is that? I've always tried to buy them fairly cheap, and turn them into something good. I'm lucky that it has happened a few times."

So what else does a guy do that wears several hats in an industry that is spread out from coast-to-coast?

"Time with family of course," Ehrlich adds. "When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my wife Lisa of 25 years, my three children and two grandchildren."

To watch one of Scott Ehrlich's favorite race calls, the 2004 Dan Patch from Balmoral Park, click here.

by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

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