Frank Salive

Frank Salive - CKSO AM FM TVHometown
Leamington, Ontario

February 8, 1955

Photo Credit
The United States Trotting Association

From hockey to radio and television to popular harness racing track announcer, Frank Salive, with his own brand of style and accuracy, has made a seemingly smooth transition between each stop. Today, highly regarded in harness racing track circles, Frank has become known as “The Voice of Canadian harness racing”. His knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice dubbed “velvet fog” have made him a fan and industry favourite. In 1972 and only 17 years of age, his first exposure to harness racing was at Windsor Raceway where he saw Albatross compete.

Before racing and even before broadcasting Frank’s call was junior hockey for which he played goalie with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 1972 to 1975 under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Roger Neilson. During the 1973-74 season the team represented Canada at the 1st World Junior Hockey Tournament in Leningrad, USSR. The Petes had beat Team Russia. As a result of his outstanding play Salive was named the top goaltender in the series and most valuable player of the tournament. He came home with a bronze medal. This was a tournament that helped set the stage for the first official World Juniors in 1977. A career in hockey seemed inevitable when he became a tenth round NHL draft choice in 1975 by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had stronger ambitions for broadcasting and racing.

His broadcasting career in radio and television took him to Windsor and subsequently a CTV network assignment to attend and cover the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. Making his way to Sudbury Frank was next at CKSO where he could be heard on AM and FM radio as well as TV anchoring news and sports.

Although his broadcast resume became more notable, his heart was calling him to the track and in 1977 he took his first professional job calling races at Sudbury Downs. He later assumed that same role at Windsor and in 1991 moved to the number one job in Canada, covering all the harness action at Woodbine and Mohawk Raceways. There he called thousands of races from 1991 until 2005 including such prestigious events as the North America Cup.

In a press release dated September 30, 2005, Western Fair Raceway announced the appointment of Frank Salive as New Race Announcer.

In September of 2012, Frank struggled with the decision to leave the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park after a three-year stint, retiring to take some extended time off and endeavour in some projects back in Canada. In September of 2019, Frank Salive told US Trotting News, “After my time at Pompano ended I tried early retirement from 2012 to 2014 but I could not shake the racing bug.” At this point he was in his fourth season at Fort Erie Race Track while he did fill-ins at well-known harness tracks.

In 2017 Salive called his 150,000th horse race at Kawartha Downs located between Millbrook and Peterborough. Following that event Frank took the opportunity to thank everyone in harness racing who worked very hard to make the racing possible and providing Frank with the enjoyable and privileged task of doing the calls.

Salive is on record as stating the most important aspect of race announcing is giving everyone fair and equal treatment. In an interview with Standardbred Canada, Salive said, “The lofty goal is to satisfy the public, horse people, TV directors and management simultaneously.” Frank also goes on to comment that the biggest race call of his career is always the next one, and the next, and so on. Frank earned the Standardbred Breeders and Owners of Ontario’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. With the advent of the 2020s, Frank has called over 160,000 career races.

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