Mary Holthaus Voted Winner Of Eclipse 50 Contest; Secretariat Fan-Favorite

Mary Holthaus first became a fan of Thoroughbred racing while watching Secretariat uncork his legendary form during his sweep of the 1973 Triple Crown. Forty-eight years later, Holthaus and Big Red were linked again as the former was selected as the winner of the NTRA Eclipse 50 Contest, which asked fans to choose their top 10 favorite Eclipse Awards champions, along with their favorite champion jockey and trainer, from the past 50 years.

Holthaus, who resides in Easton, Maryland, was randomly selected from the participants who submitted a ballot. The longtime racing fan won a trip for two to Lexington, Ky., to spend a day at the races at Keeneland Race Course, tour the Four Roses Bourbon Distillery and visit historic Spendthrift Farm, home of 2020 Horse of the Year Authentic.

“I am still shocked that I won this contest,” said Holthaus, who owns shares in four horses through “I became interested in racing in 1973 due to Secretariat. In fact, due to Secretariat, my life would change forever. I have been to Kentucky two times before, once to see Secretariat when he was alive and one time to attend the Derby and visit the horse farms in Lexington.

“I am very thrilled to go to Spendthrift Farm and see the top stallion in the country along with all their other wonderful horses.”

Holthaus was announced as the Eclipse 50 contest winner during the 50th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, which was presented virtually on January 28 by Spendthrift Farm. Later in the broadcast, it was revealed – fittingly – that Secretariat himself had been voted the No. 1 all-time Eclipse Awards champion.

Secretariat was followed in the balloting by 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew in second. Champion Zenyatta was third with 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah fourth and two-time Horse of the Year Cigar fifth. Affirmed, winner of the 1978 Triple Crown, was sixth in the rankings followed by Hall of Famers John Henry, Ruffian, Forego, and Spectacular Bid completing the top 10.

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert was voted the all-time favorite Eclipse Award-winning trainer with Laffit Pincay, Jr. selected as the top Eclipse Award-winning jockey.

The Eclipse 50 ballot consisted of 10 horses, one jockey and one trainer from each of the past five decades selected by a panel consisting of media, racing historians and others.

Individuals participating on the panel that selected the Eclipse 50 and Champion trainers and jockeys were: Edward L. Bowen, Charlsie Cantey, Adam Coglianese, Irwin Cohen, Steven Crist, Dora Delgado, Tom Durkin, Bob Ehalt, Bill Finley, Tracy Gantz, Jim Gluckson, Amy Gregory, Tom Hammond, Evan Hammonds, Gregory Harbut, Steve Haskin, Charles Hayward, Jay Hovdey, Alicia Hughes, Dave Johnson, Jonathon Kinchen, Cate Masterson, Tom Law, Tim Layden, Amy Owens, Ray Paulick, Tom Pedulla, Mike Penna, Jay Privman, William (Billy) Reed, Jennie Rees, Ramiro Restrepo, Tom Robbins, Peter Rotondo, Andy Serling, Ellis Starr, Todd Schrupp, Mary Simon, Lynne Snierson, Denise Steffanus, Sonny Taylor, and Jon White.

The post Mary Holthaus Voted Winner Of Eclipse 50 Contest; Secretariat Fan-Favorite appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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