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Jan 21, 2011

Zenyatta to receive initial Secretariat Vox Populi Award


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Horse of the Year Zenyatta has been named the first recipient of a brand new horse racing honor. The Secretariat Vox Populi Award, or "Voice of the People," will annually recognize a horse whose popularity and racing excellence most connected with the American public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year.

Penny Chenery, the owner of 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat, has created the Secretariat Vox Populi Award and will present the trophy to Zenyatta's owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, in a public ceremony at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, February 5.

"Horse racing already has established avenues to award outstanding accomplishments, and we certainly should honor superior performance," Chenery said. "But achievement can be measured in many ways, and fans occasionally feel a disconnect when the horses who most impacted the public are not recognized through the traditional equine awards. The industry is long overdue in annually acknowledging the star horse who brings the most excitement and attention to the sport. It is my hope that the Secretariat Vox Populi Award will achieve that purpose.

"I think racing fans will be just as excited about this award as I am, and we welcome everyone to come and share in the presentation festivities on February 5. The award is sure to be an honor that reflects the heart and soul of this sport and will help build upon the devotion the public has for a horse they love."

Earlier this week Zenyatta was named 2010 Horse of the Year and also received her third straight title as champion older female. Now retired to the breeding shed, the mare won her first 19 races, including the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic.

This past November she suffered her only career loss in her final start, finishing second to Blame in the Classic at Churchill Downs.

Future winners of the Secretariat Vox Populi Award will be determined by a committee in conjunction with a national online vote.

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