‘Voice of the People’ Award Goes to Mucho Macho Man

by | 12.26.2013 | 8:23am
Mucho Macho Man wins the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic

Mucho Macho Man, the tenacious 5-year-old winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, has been selected to receive the 2013 Secretariat Vox Populi, or “Voice of the People,” Award. The award recognizes the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the American public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing.

Mucho Macho Man was the unanimous favorite among the three deciding bodies: fans in the online vote, the Vox Populi Committee and Mrs. Penny Chenery, who established the award in 2010. Fan interest was at record levels this year with thousands voting in the online poll and some submitting noteworthy write-in votes.

But it was Mucho Macho Man who had emerged as the clear choice when voting ended on Dec. 21. Earlier in the year, Mucho Macho Man, who carries the colors of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, was sidelined for five months as he fought both bacterial and viral infections. Still, the strapping bay's earnings for 2013 were nearly $3 million with only five starts, and his impressive wins in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Classic propelled him into the limelight and further enhanced his popularity among racing fans.

Mucho Macho Man's Breeders' Cup win was a comeback highlight for both his trainer Kathy Ritvo, who has endured several health issues in recent years including a heart transplant in 2008, and his jockey Gary Stevens, who came out of racing retirement early in 2013 after working in television for eight years and appearing in the movie Seabiscuit.

“It is a great honor to think that a horse with such humble beginnings could intertwine the lives and stories of so many people, and tug at the heartstrings of racing fans from all over the world. We feel truly blessed to be a part of this story and receive this prestigious award on behalf of Mucho Macho Man and our team.” said owners Dean and Patti Reeves.

Mucho Macho Man now joins previous Vox Populi winners Paynter (2012), Rapid Redux (2011) and Zenyatta (inaugural 2010).

“I think we all identified with Mucho Macho Man's story of overcoming adversity,” said Mrs. Chenery. “It is a classic theme that transcends sports and life and generations. And because he is poised to return in 2014, racing fans will have much to anticipate in this champion Thoroughbred.”

The custom-made Vox Populi trophy will be presented to Mucho Macho Man's connections in a coast-to-coast ceremony on Jan. 11. Stevens and the Reeves will receive the trophy at Santa Anita Park, while Ritvo and Mucho Macho Man will be recognized during a simultaneous presentation at Gulfstream Park. The connections will be available at their respective locations to sign autographs. Both celebrations will be broadcast live on HRTV.

For more information about the Secretariat Vox Populi Award, visit Secretariat.com, the official website for the legendary Thoroughbred champion. Celebrating racing's past to enrich its future, Secretariat.com is a comprehensive online source for historical information, photography, merchandise, and memorabilia chronicling the enduring legacy of America's Super Horse.

  • 4Bellwether666

    The people have spoken and he (Huge Heart) deserves it!!!…

  • Judith Donlan

    A true testament to the great will, heart and tenacity of both horse and human connections. God bless….

  • Roisin

    I’m so happy for the horse and his connections. Well deserved in every way !

  • cheri

    How wonderful! I would have voted for him no matter what, but after his Breeder’s Cup win, at one point, Kathy Ritvo dashed past a throng of photographers, but a videographer was still focused on her. She ran towards Gary Stevens and Mucho Macho Man who stood watching her run to them… it was a sweet, unrehearsed moment that captured the essence of the dynamic between a great jockey, classic horse and a very happy woman. That scene brought my whole Breeder’s Cup viewing experience to another level. Long Live Mucho Macho Man and his connections! He is SO deserving of Vox Populi!!

    • Ida Lee

      I could not have said it better Cheri! I remember that too…Kathy running toward her Champion horse and the great Gary Stevens. To me, she has always been a picture of dignity and grace. What a special woman and what a special horse…

  • rachel

    It was a unanimous vote by the fans online? You mean not one vote was cast for an y other horse?
    My vote must not have counted ;-)

    • Terri Z

      The vote was unanimous by the fans, Mrs. Chenery, and the panel selecting the winner. Of course, not everyone voted for him; but all three groups agreed upon Moochie being the winner.

    • Kitty Kladstrup

      Rachel, in this case, unanimous means Mucho Macho Man prevailed with all three bodies–including that he won overall among the three deciding bodies (the committee, Mrs. Chenery, and the online fan vote, receiving the most online votes–but certainly not all the votes–from that group.) I know lots of other great horses were voted for and also in the running.

  • Terri Z

    I loved him ever since he was running for the Triple Crown. I am so happy for him and connections. He and his team really deserve this one. And what makes it even sweeter, is that he will be running this year. Moochie is the poster boy for the legalization of horse racing in Georgia; maybe his win will help to pass horse racing in Georgia.

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