Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Breeders' Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man has been voted the fourth 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." Mrs. Chenery created the award three years ago.
"It is a great honor to think that a horse with such humble beginnings could intertwine the lives and stories of so many people, and tug at the heartstrings of racing fans from all over the world. We feel truly blessed to be a part of this story and receive this prestigious award on behalf of Mucho Macho Man and our team." said owners Dean and Patti Reeves.
Mucho Macho Man defeated Will Take Charge by a nose in the Classic on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita one year after finishing second in the race to Fort Larned. The 5-year-old horse is trained by Kathy Ritvo who had heart transplant surgery in 2008.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens was in the saddle for Mucho Macho Man's victory. The win highlighted Stevens' return from retirement.
"I think we all identified with Mucho Macho Man's story of overcoming adversity," said Mrs. Chenery. "It is a classic theme that transcends sports and life and generations. And because he is poised to return in 2014, racing fans will have much to anticipate in this champion Thoroughbred."
The award presentation will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11 at both Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park.
The previous Vox Populi winners were Paynter (2012), Rapid Redux (2011) and Zenyatta (inaugural 2010).