Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) – Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner
California Chrome has been voted the fifth annual Secretariat ‘Vox Populi’
Award. The winning horse was determined through online voting as well as
consensus from the ‘Vox Populi’ Committee and input from Mrs. Penny Chenery
who owned two-time Horse of the Year Secretariat.
The Secretariat ‘Vox Populi,’ or “Voice of the People,” Award is given to a
horse “whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the
American public and gained recognition for thoroughbred racing.”
California Chrome, owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, strung together
five straight wins to begin 2014 including victories in the Santa Anita Derby
and the first two legs of the Triple Crown. However, his try at becoming the
first Triple Crown winner since 1978 failed when he finished in a dead heat
for fourth behind Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes.
Trained by Art Sherman, the 3-year-old chestnut colt returned with a sixth-
place finish to Bayern in the Pennsylvania Derby and was third behind Bayern
in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome
found the winner’s circle in the Hollywood Derby on Del Mar’s turf course.
“This is such an amazing honor and we are so grateful to receive this award
from Mrs. Chenery and the fans,” Coburn said. “We have always said Chrome is
the ‘People’s Horse’ and we are thrilled that the public feels the same way we
do about him.”
“Everyone loves a Cinderella story, and this one was no exception,” said Mrs.
Chenery. “California Chrome, a proven champion and formidable competitor,
reminded us that it doesn’t matter from whence we came but rather how we dance
when we get to the ball. Furthermore, his inspiring story and engaging
popularity reached beyond the racetrack stands and into the conversation of a
nation. I am looking forward to seeing California Chrome build upon his
success during his 4-year-old season.”
The award presentation will be held on Saturday, Jan. 10 at Santa Anita
The previous Vox Populi winners were Mucho Macho Man (2013), Paynter (2012),
Rapid Redux (2011) and Zenyatta (inaugural 2010).