12/09/2015 11:17AM

American Pharoah wins Vox Populi Award

Barbara D. Livingston
Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup Classic winner American Pharoah was an overwhelming choice to win the Vox Populi Award.

American Pharoah, the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, was the overwhelming choice of voters in this year’s Vox Populi Award, which was established five years ago by Penny Chenery, the owner of the late Secretariat, to honor the “horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the American public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing.”

According to the administrators of the award, voters selected American Pharoah for the award in the “largest margin of victory in the award’s existence.” American Pharoah’s 2015 campaign led to significant gains in television ratings for the races in which he ran, and he was the feature of several major magazine cover articles after he won the Belmont to clinch the Triple Crown.

“American Pharoah’s 2015 racing campaign was a true gift to the fans inside and outside the sport who have been waiting so long for their next Triple Crown champion,” said Chenery, in a release announcing the award. “In his efforts, we were able to once again witness greatness, and we were reminded that excellence can still be achieved. This racing hero has inspired a whole new generation of young fans, which I find most exciting for the future of the Thoroughbred racing.”

While fans are able to vote for a winner from a slate of candidates, the winner is determined by a panel headed by Chenery which uses the voting results as a guiding factor.

Previous winners have been California Chrome (2014), Mucho Macho Man (2013), Paynter (2012), Rapid Redux (2011), and Zenyatta (2010). Paynter was owned by Zayat Stables, the owner of American Pharoah.