11/25/2014 11:08AM

California Chrome among Vox Populi Award nominees

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Barbara D. Livingston
California Chrome, who made a run at the first Triple Crown since 1978, is among the six candidates for the Vox Populi Award.

California Chrome, the modestly bred winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, heads the list of six horses nominated for the Vox Populi Award, the administrators of the award announced Tuesday.

California Chrome was nominated along with Shared Belief, who was undefeated until his troubled trip in the Breeders’ Cup Classic; Untapable, the dominant 3-year-old filly who won the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff; Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year who won all four of his starts this year before being injured; Ben’s Cat, the hardy 8-year-old gelding who jumped into graded stakes company for the first time this year; and Game On Dude, who won the Santa Anita Handicap for a record third time this year before retiring.

The winner of the award, which was created by Penny Chenery, the owner of the late Secretariat, is determined by the results of an online poll and the opinion of a committee that reviews the nominees. The criteria for the award is “the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year.”

Previous winners of the award have been Zenyatta in 2010, Rapid Redux in 2011, Paynter in 2012, and Mucho Macho Man last year.