If you have been to a New York Racing Association affiliated track in the last twenty five years, then you have heard ‘Sam The Bugler’ belt out his rendition of the “Call To The Post”. That unmistakable melody is as iconic to Saratoga summers as is the bugler himself. Alas, when Sam played that tune prior to the 11th (and final) race on Monday September 3rd, it not only signaled the race was near, but that so too was the end, of Sam’s twenty five year career.
After two and a half decades with NYRA Sam Grossman, AKA ‘Sam The Bugler’ is laying down his horn, and retiring from his full-time duties as the organizations official bugler. Sam earned a certain celebrity status at Saratoga. He was a fan favorite, always recognizable, and ever approachable when he walked the grounds. In 2005 there was even a ‘Sam The Bugler’ bobble-head doll give-away in his honor.
Born into a classically trained musical family, the Long Island native had a passion for music early on in his life. He began playing the trumpet at six years of age. He studied music at the University of Miami, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education. He began working for NYRA in April of 1993 at Aqueduct Park.
The 52 year-old Grossman is said to be retiring to Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his wife, Laura. NYRA has indicated that while Sam is retired from his full-time duties, they hope he will make some guest appearances at Saratoga next summer. We at the Daily Racing Blog, as well as the management at the Community Court Motel hope that is the case. Happy trails to you, Sam The Bugler.