The Washington Times - May 18, 2011, 12:17PM

BALTIMORE | When viewers tune in to the Preakness on Saturday, they won’t hear the familiar voice of Tom Durkin calling the race as he has for 13 years.

Instead, it’ll be a man whose familiarity with Baltimore makes him the perfect play-by-play man. Charm City native Larry Collmus takes to the microphone for NBC to call his first Preakness, two weeks after making his Triple Crown debut with at the Kentucky Derby.

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Collmus on Wednesday morning called it “surreal.”

“I haven’t called a race here in 25 years and now I’m going to call the Preakness,” he said. “That’s pretty cool.”

Collmus, the track announcer at Monmouth Park, won’t have his family in attendance at Pimlico on Saturday. They’ll be at home. That’s because Dave Rodman will be providing the on-track broadcast.

“Nothing against Dave – he’s excellent,” Collmus said. “But the family will want to hear my call.”

Just like Graham Motion in the Kentucky Derby – who didn’t bet on his own horse, Animal Kingdom, Collmus doesn’t plan on visiting the window before the PREAKNESS.

“I’ll just be calling,” he said. “I’ve already won.”