Secretariat descendants in running for awards

secretariatSeveral descendants of Triple Crown champion Secretariat are in the running for Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious awards.

In fact, great-great-great grandson California Chrome already has captured the fifth annual Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, the Vox Populi, or “Voice of the People,” Award recognizes the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence best resonated with the public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year. Recipients do not have to be related to Secretariat.

Fans selected California Chrome, who won the 2014 kentucky derby and Preakness.

Finalists for the 2014 Eclipse Awards were announced Jan. 7. Presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, the awards are the equivalent of equine Oscars for racehorses and their owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys.

“There is at least one Secretariat descendant in every horse category,” said Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. “They include California Chrome for Horse of the Year; Untapable and Stopchargingmaria for Champion Three-Year-Old Filly; California Chrome and Shared Belief for Champion Three-Year-Old Male; Wise Dan, who has already won six Eclipse Awards, for Champion Older Male; and several other outstanding finalists.”

Ladin said it is “so gratifying” to see Secretariat’s bloodlines still a major influence in Thoroughbred racing more than 40 years after he won the Triple Crown. The Eclipse presentations will be made Jan. 17.

January is a milestone month in horse racing for another reason. The Jockey Club Registry deems Jan. 1 as the official date of birth for every Thoroughbred. Because Thoroughbreds are raced according to age—for example, the kentucky derby is for 3-year-olds—the date eliminates any confusion. Secretariat, who was born March 30, 1970, was officially one year old on Jan. 1, 1971. In 1973, as a 3-year-old, he won the Triple Crown.

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