Swiss Skydiver
Preakness winner Swiss Skydiver (inside) was named top three-year-old filly. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Following a year in which he won 103 races, Midlantic-based apprentice rider Alexander Crispin has earned the Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice jockey.

Crispin narrowly emerged from a tight race, receiving 79 first-place votes versus the 74 grabbed by Midwest rider Yarmarie Correa. Luis Cardenas was third, and another Midlantic rider, Charlie Marquez, finished fourth.

The Eclipse Awards were announced Thursday night.

Crispin rode during the second half of 2020 at Delaware Park and then at Laurel Park. He was the second leading rider by wins at Delaware, visiting the winner’s circle 58 times from 290 mounts. At Laurel he finished third by wins during the fall meet, notching 29 victories from 135 starts.

Crispin also registered the first stakes win of his career during the season. That came in September, when he piloted Singlino to victory in Delaware’s First State Dash.

In all, Crispin won 103 times from 539 starts in 2020, a 19% strike rate. His mounts earned just shy of $2.2 million.

Not surprisingly, Authentic was the overwhelming choice as champion three-year-old male and Horse of the Year. The Bob Baffert trainee won both the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic en route to the honors.

In between those two triumphs, he met defeat at the hands of the filly Swiss Skydiver, in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. Swiss Skydiver earned top three-year-old filly honors after an old-school season in which she raced 10 times, won five, and earned nearly $1.8 million. All five of her wins came in graded company, two In Grade 1 events.

The runner-up for top sophomore filly honors, Gamine, romped home the top filly sprinter. The Bob Baffert trainee won three times during the year, including in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Those three wins were one more than the number of positive tests she recorded during the season. She was disqualified from an allowance win at Oaklawn Park in May after testing positive for lidocaine, and she also came back positive for betamethasone following her third-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Baffert has appealed in both cases, which are still pending.

Voters had no apparent issues with the controversy, however. Gamine received 219 first-place votes, compared to 13 for Serengeti Empress.

The list of winners:

  • Two-Year-Old Male: Essential Quality
  • Two-Year-Old Filly: Vequist
  • Three-Year-Old Male: Authentic
  • Three-Year-Old Filly: Swiss Skydiver
  • Older Dirt Male: Improbable (4)
  • Older Dirt Female: Monomoy Girl (5)
  • Male Sprinter: Whitmore (7)
  • Female Sprinter: Gamine (3)
  • Male Turf Horse: Channel Maker (6)
  • Female Turf Horse: Rushing Fall (5)
  • Steeplechase Horse: Moscato (GB) (9)
  • Horse of the Year: Authentic (3)
  • Owner: Godolphin LLC
  • Breeder: WinStar Farm LLC 
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
  • Apprentice Jockey: Alexander Crispin 
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • Horseplayer of the Year: Thomas Goldsmith

Horse ages in parentheses where applicable.