Five horses who generated headlines for their feats in 2012 have been nominated for the third annual Secretariat Vox Populi ("Voice of the People") Award.
Created by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery, the Vox Populi Award recognizes the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year.
This year's nominees are: Frankel, Europe's undefeated Cartier Horse of the Year; I'll Have Another , the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner who earned $2.63 million in 2012; Royal Delta, the 2011 champion who captured a second consecutive win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I); Shanghai Bobby , the 2-year-old who finished the year undefeated in five career starts; and Wise Dan, the Horse of the Year contender who broke a Santa Anita course record in winning the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) and accumulated earnings of $2.62 million in 2012.
The winner will be selected on the equally weighted basis of the public online poll; consensus from the Vox Populi Committee; and input from Chenery. Voting in the online poll, which can be found at Secretariat.com, ends Sunday, Dec. 23, with the award presentation to the 2012 winner scheduled for Dec. 29 at Santa Anita Park.
The Vox Populi Committee consists of racing commentator Charlsie Cantey; Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen; Mayhem Pictures and "Secretariat" film producer Mark Ciardi; former Triple Crown Productions executive vice president Ed Seigenfeld; NTRA senior director of media relations Eric Wing; and Amy Zimmerman, executive producer for HRTV and producer for NBC and ESPN racing telecasts.
The inaugural winner of the Secretariat Vox Populi Award in 2010 was Zenyatta, and last year's recipient was the tenacious Rapid Redux.
"This year's contest will be especially interesting because our committee and our fans will be choosing our winner from such a variety of contenders, each with a unique background and career path," Chenery said in a release. "Recognizing excellence in performance and individual contribution to racing ideally transcends our differences and unites us in the goal of furthering the sport."