Jason Beem is the new track announcer at Tampa Bay Downs. He will replace Richard Grunder, who stepped down in May after calling more than 37,000 races over 37 years at the Oldsmar, Florida venue.
A track announcer since 2006, 41-year-old Beem will call his third season at Colonial Downs this summer and announces at Grants Pass Downs in Oregon. The Washington state native also hosts the Jason Beem Horse Racing Podcast sponsored by TwinSpires, a weekly hour-long podcast where he interviews many prominent members in the horse racing industry.
Beem was hired by Tampa after a nationwide search.
“Jason hit all the checkpoints we were looking for,” Tampa Bay Downs Vice President of Marketing and Publicity said in a release. “He sees racing through a fan’s eyes and understands the need to cultivate new fans and develop ways to target them. He has a big pair of shoes to fill, but he has the experience and love of the sport to make his own mark at Tampa Bay Downs. We are excited to have him on board and to introduce him to our fans.”
Beem will call the upcoming two-day Summer Festival of Racing, June 30-July 1.
“I love the racing there and am excited to become a part of it,” Beem said. “From calling races at Colonial Downs and Monmouth Park (in 2019), I got to know a lot of the horses and horsemen who compete at Tampa, and it really appeals to me as a fan. It’s good, quality racing, the turf races are outstanding and it’s a very horseplayer-friendly track.”
Tampa traditionally reopens in late November, with live racing through early May. The track offered a pair of Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifiers in 2020, the Sam F. Davis S. (G3) in February and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in March.
Beem paid tribute to Grunder. “I don’t look at it as trying to replace him, because he is a legend,” Beem said. “I just want to be a great member of the Tampa Bay Downs team, get to know the horse-playing community and get a lot of people excited about horse racing.”