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Authentic wins 2020 Vox Populi award

December 7, 2020

Horse racing fans have spoken, and they have chosen Authentic, the wire-to-wire victor in both the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), as the winner of the 2020 Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery, the award annually recognizes the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the general public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing.

A front-running favorite among the record number of fans who voted in the year-end online poll, Authentic burst onto the racing scene early in 2020. In the unusual calendar that followed for 3-year-olds, the speedy colt returned five wins and two second-place finishes in his seven starts.

Authentic is owned in a partnership with B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing. In March, Spendthrift offered an interest in Authentic to MyRacehorse Stable, a new venture that offers affordable micro-shares of racehorses to casual fans. Thus, when Authentic was victorious in this year’s Run for the Roses, he fulfilled the Derby dreams of more than 5,300 racing enthusiasts with a vested interest in him.

“Offering racing fans the opportunity to share in the joy of horse ownership is an innovation that holds much promise for the industry and an idea that my mother would have applauded,” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, family historian and daughter of Penny Chenery. “These Authentic interests and the affection they share for their personal champion has parlayed into widespread attraction and support for the sport. Authentic’s athleticism speaks for itself, but in a resounding and new way, Authentic has emerged as a horse of the people.”

Hughes, representing the ownership interests, expressed gratitude for the honor, given the talented field of nominees.

“We were so pleased with the ride that Authentic gave us this year,” Hughes said. “He carried with him the hopes and dreams of all of us who love horse racing, and he delivered time and again on racing’s largest stages. We’ll remember that thrill for a long time to come — one of the few good stories of 2020. And I, for one, am hopeful that this new kind of partnership will lead to more fans taking an active interest as owners in our magical sport.”

Trained by Bob Baffert and piloted by jockey John Velazquez in his final three starts, Authentic was one of a select group of five nominees submitted by the Vox Populi Committee and presented to thousands of voters in more than 50 countries who spoke as the “Voice of the People” in online polls on both and, where the Vox Populi was featured in the Fan Choice Awards. Other nominees were Monomoy Girl. Swiss Skydiver, Tiz the Law, and Whitmore.