Racing Awards Season is Underway: Appleby, Hot Rod Charlie, Privman Honored

By US Racing Team

Let the racing awards begin …

It’s December, so the horse racing world takes some time out from so much controversy swirling around the sport to honor those who have excelled in the industry.

We at congratulate those who have recently been recognized for their outstanding achievements.

Not all the awards have been announced, so stay tuned.

The Eclipse Awards, which honor the top thoroughbred horses and individuals in their respective categories and members of the media for racing coverage, will be presented on Feb. 10.

Some harness racing awards have been made, with the remainder scheduled throughout this week.

A brief review of the winners:

Media roll of honor

Jay Privman, Daily Racing Form national correspondent, and late turf writers Walter Haight and Jack Mann were selected to the National Museum of Racing’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor.

Privman, who has been covering racing since 1980, is a multiple award-winning writer, author, TV reporter and handicapper.

Top trainer

In London, Charlie Appleby was chosen as the 2021 international trainer of the year for the fourth consecutive season and was also named flat trainer of the year at the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association Derby Awards.

Charlie Appleby – Photo Courtesy of Edward Whitaker/Racing Post

Among Appleby’s top horses in 2021 are Cazoo Derby (G1) winner Adayar, three-time Group 1 winner Hurricane Lane, Just a Game (G1) and Diana (G1) winner Althiqa, Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Yibir, BC Mile (G1) winner Space Blues and BC Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Modern Games.

“It has been the most incredible season, the most enjoyable year I have experienced as a trainer, and I think everybody at Moulton Paddocks feels the same,’’ Appleby, the top trainer for Godolphin.

William Buick, who teamed with Godolphin to win three Breeders’ Cup races, was voted flat jockey of the year; and Emma Banks, owner of Group 1 winner Lady Bowthorpe, won owner of the year honors.


Waldrop chosen Clay Puett Award winner

Alex Waldrop, who retires at year’s end as president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), was honored with the 2021 Clay Puett Award for outstanding contributions to the racing industry. The award was presented recently at the University of Arizona Global Symposium on Racing.

Harness racing awards

In harness racing, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, the legacy breeding and racing operation of the Antonacci family, was chosen the Stan Bergstein/Proximity Award winner, the highest award the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) votes on solely.

Also, Ken Weingartner, Media Relations Manager for the United States Trotting Association, was chosen member of the year of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) by a committee of former winners of the award.

“Ken is reticent to toot his own horn but has provided help and exposure a thousand times over for countless members of the harness racing community. He truly is a standout member of our organization,” said Kim Rinker, USHWA president.

Hot Rod Charlie wins the 41st Pennsylvania Derby – Photo Courtesy of Chad B. Harmon

Let us not forget the gutsy Hot Rod Charlie. The 3-year-old colt was chosen as the winner of the 2021 Secretariat Vox Populi Award. The award was created by Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery to recognize the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public and gained recognition for thoroughbred racing.

A longshot at the start of the year for trainer Doug O’Neill, Hot Rod Charlie won the Louisiana Derby (G2), then ran third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and second in the Belmont Stakes (G1). In the summer, he was disqualified after finishing first in the Haskell Stakes (G1) for interference with Midnight Bourbon, but finally nabbed a Grade 1 in the Pennsylvania Derby. He earned more than $2 million in 2021.

Hot Rod Charlie represents the heart and purpose of the Secretariat Vox Populi Award, and his feel-good story and grit as a competitor remind us why we love racing,” Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery,’’ said. “Traditional awards may overlook his accomplishments, but this award celebrates his endearing connection with fans.”


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