Online voting is now open for the third annual Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery, the Vox Populi, or "Voice of the People," 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 and Timeform's highest rated horse in 64 years; I'll Have Another, the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness and earner of $2.63 million in 2012; Royal Delta, who captured a second consecutive win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic and earned $2 million in 2012; Shanghai Bobby, the two-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 the Breeders' Cup Mile and accumulated earnings of $2.62 million in 2012.
The inaugural winner of the Secretariat Vox Populi Award in 2010 was the wildly popular racemare Zenyatta, and last year's recipient was the tenacious Rapid Redux, who retired with 22 consecutive wins. Mrs. Chenery noted that this year's nominees also represent diverse achievements and appeal.
"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," Mrs. Chenery said. "Recognizing excellence in performance and individual contribution to racing ideally transcends our differences and unites us in the goal of furthering the sport."
The winner will be selected on the equally weighted basis of the public online poll; consensus from the Vox Populi Committee; and input from Mrs. Chenery. Voting in the online poll, which can be found at Secretariat.com, ends December 23, with the award presentation to the 2012 winner scheduled for December 29 at Santa Anita.
The Vox Populi Committee consists of Charlsie Cantey, long-time national television horse racing commentator; Steve Cauthen, Hall of Fame jockey and 1978 Triple Crown winner aboard Affirmed; Mayhem Pictures' Mark Ciardi, producer of Disney Studio's 2010 film "Secretariat"; Ed Seigenfeld, former executive vice president at Triple Crown Productions; Eric Wing, senior director of media relations for the NTRA; and Amy Zimmerman, executive producer for HRTV and producer for NBC and ESPN racing telecasts.
For more information about the Secretariat Vox Populi Award, visit Secretariat.com, the official website for the legendary Thoroughbred champion.