11/19/2013 11:36AM

Six finalists for Secretariat Vox Populi Award announced

Barbara D. Livingston
Paynter, winner of last year's Secretariat Vox Populi Award, is a finalist for the award again this year.

Six horses, including last year’s winner, have been nominated for the 2013 Secretariat Vox Populi Award, which was instituted four years ago by the owners of Secretariat to “recognize the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public,” the organizers of the award have announced.

Last year’s winner, Paynter, received his second straight nomination in a year in which he returned to the races following treatments for colitis and the possible onset of laminitis. Other nominees are Wise Dan, the 2012 Horse of the Year who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2013 for the second straight year; Princess of Sylmar, the 3-year-old filly who won four Grade 1 stakes in 2013; Mucho Macho Man, who won this year’s BC Classic; Game On Dude, the 6-year-old gelding who won the Pacific Classic and four of five other starts; and Groupie Doll, who repeated this year in the Filly and Mare Sprint.

As in previous years, the winner of the award is determined by “the equally weighted basis” of fan voting and a committee that includes Penny Chenery, owner of the late Secretariat. Fan voting is conducted online through Dec. 21. Fans also may write-in candidates that were not nominated.

The first two winners of the award were Zenyatta in 2010 and Rapid Redux in 2011.