California Chrome Wins 2nd Secretariat Vox Populi Award

Fresh off a nearly perfect 2016 campaign in which he was victorious in all but one race, California Chrome was named the winner Sunday of the fan-voted Secretariat Vox Populi award for an unprecedented second time.

Fans from more than 40 countries voted on the 2016 award, which will be presented to California Chrome’s team in a ceremony Jan. 14 that will include a poster giveaway and autograph-signing session at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., according to a statement released on the website.

“The far-reaching participation we received from this year’s Vox Populi voters has been quite thrilling,” Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, said in the statement. “This global enthusiasm and California Chrome’s repeat selection are testament to both his athletic excellence and his abiding appeal among racing fans.”

California Chrome’s co-owner, Perry Martin, said he was “proud to witness the love and devotion of Chrome’s fans,” who have been affectionately dubbed “Chromies.”

“They’ve always seen what I’ve seen in him. Winning the Vox Populi Award two years ago was an incredible honor, and it is just as terrific the second time around,” Martin said.

California Chrome, who’s now 5, first won the award in 2014 after victories in races including the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

The beloved California-bred chestnut was up this year for the Vox Populi against Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Beholder, the dominant 3-year-old filly Songbird and Tepin, who put together a string of eight consecutive wins on the turf.

The other past winners have been Triple-Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man in 2013, Paynter in 2012, Rapid Redux in 2011 and super-mare Zenyatta when the award was first announced in 2010.