Fans of Thoroughbred racing will have their voice heard in the second annual ABR Fan Choice Awards. America’s Best Racing has announced the 10 categories for the 2020 Fan Choice Awards, and voting closes on Nov. 30.
Churchill Downs Inc. has been represented by six nominations in 2020.
The Kentucky Derby is up for Favorite Race of 2020. Postponed from the first Saturday in May until the first Saturday in September, the Run for the Roses featured an outstanding front-running victory from Authentic, who turned back heavy favorite Tiz the Law in upper stretch to score convincingly.
Authentic went on to add the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who notched a record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby victory.
Travis Stone, the stylish and descriptive voice of the Kentucky Derby, has been nominated for Favorite Race Call of 2020. A native of upstate New York, Stone excelled once again with his call of the 15-horse Kentucky Derby, setting an accurate picture for listeners while delivering all the twists and turns of America’s most famous race. Stone has been Churchill Downs’ track announcer since 2015.
One of the most recognizable and knowledgeable personalities in horse racing, Joe Kristufek is a nominee for Favorite Racing Analyst of 2020. A Chicago native, Kristufek worked at Arlington Park and Hawthorne, among other tracks, before being hired as the full-time analyst for Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds. A savvy handicapper and interviewer, Kristufek compiles trip notes, which enhances his ability to analyze horses in upcoming races, and he presents relevant information for bettors to incorporate.
The Jason Beem Horse Racing Podcast, sponsored by TwinSpires, has been nominated for Favorite Racing Radio Show or Podcast of 2020. Beem, the racetrack announcer for Colonial Downs, mixes in humor with outstanding commentary, interviewing horseplayers, trainers, jockeys, officials, personalities, and more. Available on Apple Podcast, Beem talks about the world of horses five days a week.
TwinSpires, the leader in online horse race betting, is a finalist for Favorite Betting Site. It’s one of three new categories in 2020. TwinSpires combines the latest online technology, along with virtually every available race from around the world, to provide its customers with the best possible betting experience.
Churchill Downs, which opened its doors in 1875, is a nominee for Favorite Racetrack to Bet. The Louisville, Kentucky facility began the tradition of the Kentucky Derby, the longest continually run sporting event in North America, during its inaugural year, and Churchill Downs has undergone many massive renovations to enhance the fan experience. It can accommodate more than 165,000 guests on Kentucky Derby Day.
The Twin Spires atop the grandstands are the most recognizable feature, and Churchill Downs has constructed The Big Board, the world’s largest 4K video screen, for patrons to follow the racing action.
In 2019, the Mint Julep, the drink of the Kentucky Derby, was named winner of the Best Racetrack Cocktail. The Kentucky Derby was also recognized as the Best Fashion Event.
Beem, Kristufek, Stone, and Churchill Downs were all nominated for Fan Choice Awards in 2019.
Online voting for the 2020 Fan Choice awards is available at AmericasBestRacing.net. When the voting concludes on Monday, Nov. 30, four lucky voters will be randomly selected and awarded a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card. Voting is limited to one vote per email address.
Winners for the 10 award categories will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 3.