Online voting is now open to select the 12th annual winner of the 2021 Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat’s late 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.
The six nominees were selected by a committee comprised of several distinguished personalities from within and outside the racing industry who all share a keen interest and affection for the sport. But voters also have the option to write in a racehorse of their choice. Voting will be open through Nov. 30, and the winner will be announced in December.
This year’s nominees are: Echo Zulu, the 2-year-old filly sensation whose undefeated debut season boasted impressive wins in all four of her starts, including the NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies; Essential Quality, the 3-year-old colt whose class and consistency has provided conversation throughout the racing season with five wins in seven starts, including the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets; Hot Rod Charlie, the gutsy 3-year-old colt who rose to be a force along the Triple Crown trail and beyond with wins in the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby and the Pennsylvania Derby; Knicks Go, the 5-year-old Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup Invitational winner whose stellar 2021 campaign resulted in earnings of $7.3 million; Letruska, the talented and tenacious 5-year-old distaffer who collected six wins in eight 2021 starts; and Life Is Good, the swift 3-year-old colt whose comeback from mid-season injury resulted in four wins in five starts, including the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
“Our nominees this year represent some of the brightest moments for the sport in 2021,” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, family historian and daughter of Penny Chenery. “We look forward to the fans celebrating their favorites by voting for the horses who thrilled them, who inspired them, and who provided them the most joy during another challenging year.”
The list of previous Vox Populi winners reads as a who’s who among the sport’s contemporary superstars and beloved equine heroes: Authentic (2020), Bricks and Mortar (2019), Winx (2018), Ben’s Cat (2017), California Chrome (2016 and 2014), American Pharoah (2015), Mucho Macho Man (2013), Paynter (2012), Rapid Redux (2011), and 2010 inaugural winner Zenyatta.
For more information about the Vox Populi Award, visit Secretariat.com, the official website for the legendary Thoroughbred champion. Celebrating racing’s past to enrich its future, Secretariat.com is a comprehensive online source for historical information, photography, merchandise, and memorabilia chronicling the enduring legacy of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Secretariat.com can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.