2020 Fan Choice Awards: The Winners

Pop Culture
The Preakness Stakes and jockey John Velazquez were honored as Best Race and Best Jockey by voters at ABR’s 2020 Fan Choice Awards. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The votes have all been counted and the results are in for the second-annual America’s Best Racing’s Fan Choice Awards!

The 2020 voting period saw more then 20,000 votes cast across 10 hotly-contest categories ranging from your favorite racetracks to bet to this year’s top jockeys and horses. The ultimate prize is the Secretariat Vox Populi Award which ABR is again proud to award in connection with secretariat.com. Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2020 Fan Choice Awards as selected by you, the fans.

Secretariat Vox Populi Award: Authentic

Authentic was voted the 11th annual winner of the Vox Populi Award to honor the most popular racehorse of the year. The Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic winner  joins such superstars as California Chrome, American Pharoah, and inaugural winner Zenyatta as an equine athlete who transcended the sport and appealed to fans nationwide.

Favorite Race: 2020 Preakness Stakes

Nothing got the blood rushing this year as much as the thrilling Preakness Stakes stretch run between superstar filly Swiss Skydiver and Authentic. In the end, Swiss Skydiver prevailed in a showdown that will be remembered for years to come.

Favorite Radio Show/Podcast: In the Money Player’s Podcast

The duo of Peter Thomas Fornatale and Jonathon Kinchen take down top honors in this category. Fornatale and Kinchen edged out 2019 Fan Choice Awards winner Steve Byk by just a little under 100 votes.

Favorite Racetrack to Bet: Saratoga

The Spa reigned supreme in the voting this year among all racetracks that were nominated for their offerings to horse bettors. Overwhelmingly, fans and horseplayers voted Saratoga the top track at which to place a wager.

Favorite Jockey: John Velazquez

When you win the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same year that you’ve surpassed the 6,000-win mark, fans are going to take notice. John Velazquez added a bit of shine to his Hall of Fame résumé in 2020, and along with it his first Fan Choice Award.

Favorite Horse Country Experience: Claiborne Farm

One of Kentucky’s most historic farms gets the nod from the fans in one of the new categories in the Fan Choice Awards. There might not be any room left on the trophy shelves at Claiborne Farm, but hopefully they’ll find a nice spot for the recognition as the fans’ favorite experience in Horse Country.

Favorite Race Call: Dave Rodman, Preakness Stakes

If the race itself didn’t give you the goosebumps, then listening to the call of the Preakness Stakes by Dave Rodman should’ve done the trick. The longtime Maryland track announcer earned high-praise from fans – and now his first Fan Choice Award – for his extraordinary call of the 2020 Preakness Stakes.

Favorite Racing Analyst: Maggie Wolfendale

For the second consecutive year, the Fan Choice Awards Favorite Analyst category evoked some strong opinions from fans about their favorite handicappers and TV presenters. This year, it was Maggie Wolfendale who earned the highest praise from fans for her paddock analysis at New York Racing Association tracks throughout 2020 and on-air on the Fox Sports show “America’s Day at the Races.”

Favorite Betting Site: TVG

Another one of the new categories introduced for the 2020 Fan Choice Awards, the fans’ Favorite Betting Site was decided by less than 40 votes. In the end, TVG edged out TwinSpires for the coveted top spot and earned with it the ultimate recognition from fans and horseplayers across the country.

Favorite OTTB in Equine-Assisted Therapy: Hadifly

A former racehorse who made nearly 50 starts, Hadifly became a three-day event horse before transitioning into a riding horse at the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding. He retired in 2018 and this year received recognition as the fans’ favorite OTTB in Equine-Assisted Therapy.

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