An Authentic Winner of Vox Populi Award

The fans have spoken, and although this year’s five finalists in the Vox Populi Award were one of the most competitive groups in its history, with four horses receiving a significant amount of votes, it all came down to which horse did more for the sport, while putting together a championship campaign. ~ Steve Haskin

An Authentic Winner of Vox Populi Award

By Steve Haskin


When Penny Chenery came up with the idea for the Vox Populi Award 10 years ago it was to “recognize the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year.”

Now that we have the official terminology of what the award represents, let’s see if we can decipher its meaning and see how it applies to this year’s winner Authentic.

Did Authentic win because he won the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic and is a sure bet for Horse of the Year? One would hope not. That is what the Eclipse Awards are for.

Did he win because he was the most popular horse in the country? Well he certainly received the most votes, but was he more popular than Monomoy Girl and her remarkable comeback at age 5? More popular than racing’s new “Iron Lady” and throwback Swiss Skydiver? Did he inspire more affection than Canada’s one-eyed wonder Mighty Heart and 7-year-old slayer of males Starship Jubilee? Or invoke more familiarity than the old warrior Whitmore and his four-year quest for Breeders’ Cup glory? Those questions are difficult to answer, but one wouldn’t think so if you base it solely on Authentic’s stakes accomplishments and the adoration he received from the general public. And he certainly didn’t have people converging on Bob Baffert’s barn to visit him as they did for American Pharoah.

So that leaves “gained recognition for the sport.”

That certainly is open to interpretation. We know how the aforementioned horses gained recognition for the sport and what they gave to racing fans. But what exactly did Authentic give to racing fans? That is where he in his own way stands apart from the others in a profound way. While they gave fans great backstories, some of them your typical Cinderella tales, Authentic gave racing fans something horses normally don’t give them – hope.

Hope in the future of the sport in the sense that ordinary folks who once could only dream of owning a racehorse, even a lowly claimer, now for the first time can see that dream become a reality. For the 5,300-plus fans who went on and put up $206 for a chance at a brief thrill, reality would far surpass even their wildest dreams as they became an integral part of the fabric of the sport, while bringing hope to others who will now try to repeat the fairy tale written by Authentic.

By providing that hope for the future, as well as the thrills and emotions experienced by so many at racing’s highest level, Authentic most certainly gained recognition for the sport in ways never before imagined.

So, this was not necessarily a case of an overload of Authentic shareholders casting their vote. It was about a horse who, unlike former Vox Populi winner American Pharoah, provided so much more than just being popular on a one-on-one basis.

Remember long ago when you were a kid sitting atop a beautifully adorned carousel horse, and you kept reaching for that brass ring, just for the thrill of grabbing hold of it? Well, because of Authentic, that carousel horse became a living, breathing entity and that brass ring you grabbed hold of turned to gold right before your eyes. And now others will hop on the carousel for their chance to experience racing’s ultimate thrill ride.

One who already has experienced it is Leslie Bonnette from Stanford, Kentucky, and her words describe beautifully why Authentic is a deserving winner of this year’s Vox Populi Award.

“That $206 was the best money that I have spent through this crazy COVID world,” she said. “I retired to Kentucky from Arizona because of my love of horses. Secretariat will always have a piece of my heart and I was lucky enough to have two of his daughters until the end of their lives. Then came Authentic. I have never seen him in person – yet – but he, like Secretariat, has filled a piece of that love I have for the horses. He amazed me as I watched him compete– even if it was owning only a couple of hairs from his tail. Now I am waiting to visit him in person at Spendthrift Farm when he is available after his duties with the ladies. I will be the one standing by him in amazement and gratitude. I can now truthfully say that I own a piece of a Kentucky Derby winner with pride.”

For Susan Lehr of Laurel, Maryland, it took a little convincing before she invested, but Authentic has changed her life, and for that she will always be grateful.

“I bought one share for myself and one share as an engagement gift for my nephew and his fiancé who are also racing fans,” she said. “Little did I know it would be a gift that keeps on giving.

When Authentic won the Derby it took several minutes to sink in. Then my nephew called me and his excitement was infectious. Purchasing a micro-share of Authentic through MyRacehorse and watching him win the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic has been the ride of a lifetime. The cost of being part of normal racehorse ownership syndicate is out of reach for the average person. A mere $206 investment brought me the same excitement, joy, and elation as someone who owned the horse outright.  The feeling comes in waves; the immediate excitement at the moment of victory, the disbelief that you own a whisker of a Kentucky Derby winner, then the pride in sharing your story with friends and family. 

“Sure, I’ll likely get a return on my investment through breeding dividends but being a micro-shareholder of Authentic has not been about money.  It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  I’ve gained 5,314 friends and I imagine that each time I hear someone utter the word ‘authentic’ in general conversation I’ll be beaming.  The experience has been priceless and this feeling will last forever.”

Bobby Bulger and his wife Lisa run the Monmouth Park Facebook page and are fixtures at that track. So they always have a soft spot in their heart for horses who compete there, especially Maximum Security, to whom they became extremely close. But when Authentic won the Haskell they had no idea what that victory would lead to.

“Coming into the Haskell, I had never seen Authentic in person and I fell in love with him in the paddock,” Bobby said. “Unlike Max who’s built like Mike Tyson, Authentic was more on the side of Lennox Lewis — longer and leaner and more athletic looking. Lisa came to me prior to the Derby and her birthday and asked me if I would buy a share of our Haskell champ Authentic for her birthday gift. I jumped at the opportunity to give Lisa what she wanted, and it was something that made me quite happy as well.

“Being a shareholder of our Monmouth Haskell champion was beyond exciting. But on Sept. 5th, 2020, a year unprecedented in every way, we officially became shareholders of a Kentucky Derby winner, something neither of us could ever have imagined. I’m not sure that it has totally sunk in yet. That is, until our Kentucky Derby win photo arrived as a shareholder of Authentic. We are now linked to this horse eternally.”

All you have to do is read these comments to appreciate just what Authentic meant to so many people and the door he opened for others to share these same kinds of thrills. Will there be another Authentic for those who hop on the carousel? No one can answer that, but as long as the brass ring is there, people will continue to reach for it, now knowing that it can turn to gold at any time.

Right now that gold ring may be frolicking in a field somewhere or is about to begin training, just waiting for you to snatch up one of those strands of hair from his or her tail. One thing about a carousel, it keeps going round and round, and thanks to Authentic you never know when you will be aboard for the ride of a lifetime.


Leave a Reply

60 Responses to “An Authentic Winner of Vox Populi Award”

  1. Marcia Grenier says:

    Steve I really appreciate your explanation of the win. When I saw that Monomoy Girl didn’t win I was disappointed because of what she went through to achieve that win in the Distaff. Not many get through a colic much less achieve what she has. Your explanation and the stories that owners have shared, made me realize the right horse won and really was chosen by the voice of the people. Thank you all for sharing.

  2. Diane Reitmyer says:

    Dear Steve,
    Once again you wrote a beautiful commentary. I appreciated your explanation as to why Authentic was deserving because I voted for Monomay Girl. Your love of the sport shines through your writing every time. Thank you.

  3. Lynn says:

    Your words always ring Gold Steve. Thank you and Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas to you and your family xoxo

  4. Tony Marandola says:

    I bought into Authentic before the Haskell. It was such a thrill when he won. I didn’t realize then that the best was still to come. It was a thrill of a life time to be a part of this incredible journey….

  5. Alice Kovalchik says:

    Congratulations to Authentic and to all the lucky microshare owners, especially Susan P. Lehr. Authentic has made dreams come true for over 5000 people. He’s definitely left his hoof print in horse racing history.

  6. Paula N Higgins says:

    Congratulations to Authentic, his connections, and all those who purchased a share in him. All the
    Vox Populi candidates were deserving nominees for the honor. Really an honor to even be nominated.
    Like many, I wish he was still racing next year. I will wish him a healthy and happy retirement

    Reposting this in the proper spot.

  7. Coldfacts says:

    I never spend too much time acknowledging the awards secured by champion horses. Particularly those rushed into retirement. The current practice continues the gross expansion of the stallion population. It’s a practice that serves no good purpose.

    The question that still remains unanswered has to be. Would Authentic have emerged the KD & BCC winner, if the likes of Nadal, Charlatan and Maxfield didn’t suffer set backs? The aforementioned colts were certainly ranked above Authentic. Add Honor Code to the list ahead of the KD and Authentic would have been assigned the #5 ranking.

    I guess we can only speculate on what could have been.

    Another question that merits being answered has be. Did the sub-par opposition Tiz The Law defeated in NY and Florida lead to the colt being overrated?

    Many were dismissed after citing the soft opposition in his 5 graded stakes between the 2 states. With the retirement of Authentic, TTL should be the top 3YO heading into 2021. Maxfield in back in training and likewise Charlatan.. Would the result of a meeting between the 3, answers the question lingering over Authentic’ s legacy?

    An interesting 4YO season for the 3 is pending.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      No one can answer your questions. As for retirement I am in total agreement. That that did sit well with me at all. Very disappointing from a fan’s point of view, at least the general fan with no personal interest in the horse. The second question means nothing because itt hass no answer. The question of Tiz the Law has merit because the horses he beat have gone on to do nothing of note. As for next year, we’ll see. Not a deep group of 4 year olds at all.

      • Davids says:

        If Tiz the Law is being questioned on quality as to who he beat then let’s draw the full question, what wonder horses did Nadal, Charlatan, and Maxfield beat? Frankly, none.

        • Steve Haskin says:

          Nobody beat anybody . The 3 year old crop was not very good, which is why we still have no idea how good any of these horses were including Authentic. From a visual standpoint and especially frrom the speed sheets, Improbable was by far the best horse in the Classic, but got a terrible ride losing ground the entire race. Tiz the Law also got a bad ride. I feel he is still a very good horse, but has to prove it against top competition. Best horse he beat was Caracara.

          • Davids says:

            Steve, that’s a good assessment. I would still give Improbable the Horse of the Year accolade. Authentic being beaten in the Santa Anita Derby by Honor A. P., being beaten in the Preakness Stakes by the courageous filly, Swiss Skydiver, and gasping over the line in the Haskell Stakes while beating average opposition levels what Authentic achieved in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Kentucky Derby.

    • Davids says:

      Perhaps, you may wish to list the great 3 year olds that Nadal, Charlatan, and Maxfield defeated. At least Tiz the Law defeated the other wonder colt of Bob Baffert – Uncle Chuck.

      Remember him, he was supposed to be the best of all the Baffert colts before he was thrashed in the Travers Stakes by you know who – Tiz the Law.

  8. Ethan says:

    Authentic was a lot of fun to watch this year. His Kentucky Derby was amazing enough but he really won me over at the Preakness when he went nose to nose with Swiss Skydiver as she ran the second fastest Preakness ever. The horse showed his heart and his amazing ability. Then for him to dominate the Classic like his did just put the icing on the cake. I really enjoyed his entire year. I voted for Swiss Skydiver but I definitely have an affinity for Authentic and I really wish I could see him run more. Thanks for a great write up!

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thanks Ethan. The Preakness in my opinion and on the speed sheets was the best race he ever ran.

      • Ethan says:

        I share that opinion. What we say at the Preakness is what racing fans dream of. To everyone’s point about retiring him so early, it really is a shame. I think the fan excitement for this horse would have continued to swell and he would have been even bigger if he campaigned as a four year old.

        • Steve Haskin says:

          Racing isnt about racing anymore. It’s a breeding business. Thats where the money is. Horses are now little more than investments to many owners.

          • Spaldeen says:

            Ain’t it the truth!
            Ain’t it the truth!

          • Ethan says:

            I agree 100%. I mean I get it, racing is a cold, expensive business and sometimes the business side has to win out. For instance, American Pharoah, as much as I would have loved to see him as a four year old, I understood that decision as the first TC winner in almost 40 years. But it seems like any horse that wins any Grade 1 race is going to go to the breeding shed the following season now. I just don’t get the rush on Authentic. His micro-owners were so bought in that I bet a vote amongst them would have kept him racing. Allowing those shares to be bought and sold on the secondary market would have sent interest through the roof even more. I hate to pick on Authentic’s connections only, but I feel they missed a golden opportunity to push the sport further.

            It is just a simple fact that horses are retired way too early and it is unlikely we will ever get to see a multi-year campaign again unless there is something holding back the breeding dollars. California Chrome may have been one of the last of his kind.

  9. Janet Maas says:

    Well said Mr. Haskin! I grew up watching the Kentucky Derby with my Mother and debating who we thou wold win and the Triple Crown races. In later years after Mom passed watching with my BFF. We often wondered would it would be like to own a Kentucky Derby horse. When I saw Authentic at the MyRaceHorse page I just had a feeling and knew I had to invest. In a year with a lot of stress (COVID and professionally) Authentic was a bright spot in my days. I cannot express how much he has meant to me (and others). He fulfilled that starry eyed, horse crazy little girls dreams who grew up to be a starry eyed horse crazy women

  10. Delrene Sims says:

    Thanks for this well written article about the meaning behind the VOX POPULI Award. He is very deserving . It really doesn’t matter how I feel about him. All the nominees were very deserving . I think I did a write in for Maxi. Anything that helps bring fans into this incredible sport, especially. During this unprecedented 2020 with no fans allowed. We need it…. we need to pump up the volume with positivity. Congratulations to all connections.for this award.
    And to Authentic! Treats galore.

  11. Cranky Mare says:

    The total value of 5300 $206 shares is $1,091,800. That is a lot of money. That is approximately $30k per month for 3 years. Enough for most people to care for 15 to 30 horses per month. The Myracehorse business people are some smooth marketing operators. They raked in over a million dollars from people who will never have a meaningful say in the housing, feeding, veterinary care (but hey, do they really want to know what drug cocktail de jour Navarro or their trainer gave the horse?), or riding of “their horse”. And if these shareholders had only waited for one of these quarter of a million dollar yearling sales to flop on the track as a 3 year old, they could actual own %100 of a racehorse for about $2000 and even ride said racehorse when it ends up on Canter or New Vocation or some other place where they dump-excuse me donate- the rejects.

    I just feel so warm and fuzzy about the Vox Populi Award this year. Is there a kicker attached to Authentic winning it?

    • Lizzie Bennett says:

      Wow….2020 and the various events and elections and viruses has obviously honed what seems to be an inherent cynicism in your heart! Cranky Mare is quite the apt nom de plume, but your post exceed cranky and leans heavily into conspiratorial thinking. I guess you feel good – you “caught” the Myracehorse group in the cardinal sin of promoting the chance for average people to feel a little bit of what it is to be an owner of a Derby horse for a tiny fraction of what the usual buy-in requires. Their diabolical plan was so wickedly clever that they pulled 5,300 suckers into the game. Never mind that the cost pp was roughly equivilent to what the cost for two people would be to – say – go to Disney World for a day and ride the rides and buy overpriced food. Or the equivilent to buying one of the worst bleacher seats at the Derby, where you get the experience of standing on a bleacher trying to see over an ocean of people as you try to watch the race. Or roughly the same price you’d pay to go to a nosebleed heaven seat at Heinz Field to watch the Steelers play for two hours and by a $12 glass of beer and a $10 hot dog. How dare they expect to charge a fee for an experience?

      These average people bought the chance to be part of something more than a visit to a theme part or a sporting event for a few hours. They became part of the journey. They knew the score and what they would get in return for the $206 investment. They got something that carried them through this most bizzare of years, keeping their minds off of COVID, death, fear, anger, restrictions and the lunacy of the presidential elections. Each one of these people could watch this colt with a pride of ownership. He took them on a 9 month ride from the spring preps to what turned into the Fall classics and let each of them have the pride of a parent watching their equine child succeed. They didn’t need to physically ride Authentic to feel the surge of power as he turned into the stretch in each of their own hearts. The reward for their tiny investment was the bragging rights they had and the cheers they leveled as he won the Derby and BC Classic. That is heady stuff – a huge return on a very tiny investment.

      Instead of acknowledging that success – you go out of your way to make it a negative. Instead of seeing 5,300 people come to this game and have a truly amazing and unique experience, you see it as a scam. That the fact they had to pay something for the experience makes is suspect. I’ll be looking for your letters of outrage to Disney, the NFL and any other entertainment/sport as well. I’m not sure if it’s just your nature or if you are jealous because you didn’t buy in or what.I don’t know. It’s obvious you don’t think much of the sport, which begs the question why you are even following this site. Regardless, you are way off base condemning a very successful marketing campaign that brought that many people a little closer to this sport in a truly positive and exciting way. And you absolutely have no right to dictate whether or not Authentic is a deserved winner of the Vox Populi award. That was decided by a simple casting of votes and with the criteria Penny Chenery put in place herself. It’s so brave to cast aspersions behind a fake name and a computer screen. I’d bet $206 that you’d never have asked Penny to her face if she’d received a “kicker” for awarding the winner.

      • Steve Haskin says:

        That’s telling her, Lizzie. Well done. Anyway, does anyone pay attention to someone who uses cranky in their name?

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Interesting take. I am wondering how you organize 5,300 people and then come up with a yearling they all want. Then when that yearling doesnt make it to the races the only winner is the sales company. Do you know how many million dollar yearlings become good horses. I would advise you to stick to the tail hairs.

      • Jerre George says:

        Hi Steve. In reference to Cranky Mare’s post, I think she, like most horse lovers, was just thinking how much that million dollars could have done for thoroughbreds that didn’t pan out on the racetrack and ended up in bad circumstances. I don’t think your article was the place to do it perhaps, but I understand her feelings. I also would like to see that kind of money given to horse rescues. As for your take on the Vox Populi award, I was disappointed that Whitmore didn’t win, and if not him, I would have like for it to have gone to one of the ladies. Those 5300 owners thought Authentic should have won for sure, and he is a fine horse. But I think he was voted Vox Populi by his owners and because of his wins and probable Horse of the Year selection. I don’t think the fact that people think that they, too, can own a piece of a champion had anything to do with it. But nevertheless, thanks for the article. I always enjoy them.

        • Steve Haskin says:

          I hear ya Jerrre. My vote was for Swiss Skydiver and I could see Monomoy Girl and Whitmore, although I’m not sure Whitmorre had much of a fan base before the BC. But he would have been a good winner. I must have misunderstood Cranky Mare’s comment. If youre right I can appreciate that point.

  12. Linda Rowell says:

    As a child my dream was owning and breeding racehorse, I played with plastic horses, naming them and imagining owning and riding them off into the sunset! As I got older I realized My family couldn’t afford them and my dream would not happen. Then I married and we bought a few quarter horses, I barrel raced and rode when I could. But to own a race horse would never happen… until MyRacehorse! I am 72 years old and my dream came true albeit late in life but so amazing just the same! I was and s am a California Chrome fan and when I had the opportunity to buy a micro share of Authentic I couldn’t believe it! And then to watch him WIN races! The thrill of my life. Thank you MyRacehorse for making my dream come true and hopefully many more before I leave this life!❤️❤️❤️❤️

  13. Margaret Ann says:

    I voted for Monomoy Girl, and when I saw that Authentic had won the Vox Populi Award, I was disappointed. Then I read Steve’s take on Authentic’s win and it brought me to tears. I read all of your responses and I am still teary eyed. This has been a year that has brought extraodinary challenges to each one of us. Our lives will never be the same, but I have lived long enough to see that something good and precious can be found in some of the most dire circumstances. I have learned how precious and wonderful it feels to be able to hug someone. I cannot wait for the day we can freely hug each other, family, friends, loved ones, even total strangers who are in desparate need of a hug! So, having been reminded of all this, I am now thrilled that Authentic won the 2020 Vox Populi, I am thrilled for each of the 5300+ who owned even one tail hair and the joy that he brought them. I look forward to 2021, thrilled that Monomoy Girl will be back with Brad Cox, thrilled that 2020 will soon be in our past, and praying for us all, that we are better people for having learned not to take life for granted, that every life is dear and precious, and I thank the Good Lord for these wonderful horses and what they give us.

  14. Della Boetje says:

    Well said, Authentic brought back hope, happiness a future of excitement. Authentic had given the small normal person feel important.and like you said I have gained a lot of new friends and that’s priceless

  15. Ellie says:

    No one “flocked to Bob Bafferts barn” because of the corona virus situation. I live 20 minutes from Santa Anita, I would have been flocking if I thought I had a chance of getting in. Good luck with that

  16. Leesa Ann Blood says:

    God, this is totally what I feel, this is something that brings tears to my eyes, finally, a dream that happened and I will take it with till the day I die. Thank you Authentic for this very special gift.

  17. Peg says:

    Thanks for putting into words what this award is about. I have 2 shares of Authentic and I know there will be some who don’t think he deserved it. So many people have shown interest in horseracing ownership because of him that new offerings have been snapped up within hours. This whole experience has been a bright light in this trying time.

  18. Matthew Wohlken says:

    I think for a long time this Summer Horse Racing was the main way to “get action” on a wager ….I do think there has been an influx of players in the game, so to speak, Del Mar and Los Alamitos have made big gains in their handle….

  19. Sheila says:

    Mr. Haskin, this captures it beautifully. While I do not own any shares in Authentic (other obligations at the time), I am involved with 3 others: a handsome Tapit 2yo gelding, a Frosted yearling filly and a yearling Into Mischief colt. I am 67 years old and to give you an idea my childhood imaginary friends were named Big Red and Nashua, lol. This has made the dream of owning a racehorse possible for me and countless others who may not have the wherewithal and, while I have no idea if the MyRacehorse lightning will strike twice, just knowing this dream became a reality for others and can happen for me, keeps these ageing bones dreaming. And that does encompass the feeling of the Vox Populi.

  20. Gina Danna says:

    I’m one of those 5314 MyRacehorse owners of Authentic – I have 3 shares and its been well worth the 206/share to be partial owner of him! I’m a horse girl, fell in love with them since I can remember; read all the Walter Farley books on The Black Stallion, the Arabian who became a horse racing winner & fell madly in love with Arabians and horse racing. I got my Arabians a few years ago – check one dream fulfilled; Authentic did the rest! I grew up wanting to be a jockey, always watch the Triple Crown races so when Authentic won KY Derby, it was a dream come true! I can’t wait to meet him at Spendthrift!!! He’s been a dream come true and it is fantastic!!!

  21. Lisa Greco says:

    Wow… what an amazing article! As a shareholder in Authentic myself, I felt every single word that was written or quoted. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes because this horse has been the ride of a lifetime for me. My expectations were exceeded 1000 times over and I also can’t wait to go visit him at Spendthrift. Authentic is what so many people needed at this time and MRH allowed us to live out a dream with Authentic. Thank you for such a touching article. Authentic is truly the real deal.

  22. Rhonda Harms says:

    Thank you so much Steve! You have so eloquently captured everything that owning my tiny share of Authentic means to me! He has fulfilled a lifelong dream that I thought would never be realized as, until now, participation in race horse ownership was well beyond my means.

    Thank you to Authentic for making my dreams come true.

    Also, thank you, to you, Steve, for your entertaining and informative columns. I hope they continue for many years to come!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thank you, Rhonda and Happy Holidays to you and yours. Yours and the other comments are perfect examples of why Authentic was a deserving winner.

  23. Linda Daly says:

    Steve, you’ve captured my thoughts through your words and those lovely quotes of fellow shareholders. The gift that keeps on giving. In a surreal and often terribly sad and stressful time–our experience of owning shares (1 me, 1 grown daughter, 3 husband) has brought us together in sharing such thrills. We are even planning a family trip to Lexington area to visit Authentic next year (hopefully!). My husband has his winner’s circle photos framed and hanging in his exam room, and almost every patient asks about him and he proudly shares our Authentic story with them. I am so thankful to MRH for opening the door for a new type of family (in our case) experience. So what if it’s five hairs of ownership–nothing can take away from all of us screaming Authentic home together as a family. I look forward to thanking Authentic, and even touching our five hairs, in person someday.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      What a beautiful post, Linda. Congrratultions to you and your family, and if your husband is a psychiatrist I hope he gives me a discount rate.

  24. Anna says:

    For Mother’s Day 2020, I received the Four Fillies package through MyRaceHorse. It’s been fun watching them train and race. As a life long lover of horses (Man O’War is my favorite!), this little bit of ownership has made me happy.

    And thank you, Steve, for all your posts! Merry Christmas!

  25. Elizabeth SNELL says:

    On my bucket list when I watch first Ky derby that was 68 years ago I want a horse to ran in the Derby. My family had race horses and was married to jockey. My dream came through thank you

    • James D Nelson says:

      Once again, Steve, I think your analysis is spot-on. In a year that has seen the face of hopelessness on so many faces, Authentic provided a picture of hope.
      I love your image of the ride on the carousel horse. Thanks.

      • Maryanne B. Murray says:

        Hindsight is 2020……and when I look back on this past year I can find only one thing that made the time bearable. His name is AUTHENTIC! My family and I had heartbreaking issues to contend with and our one bright spot was in looking forward to and sharing in the thrill of an AUTHENTIC race. My brother-in-law died 3 days before the Derby – he told us to watch for him as he’d be on board OUR horse for the big race. What an emotional ride it was when Authentic crossed that finish line! OUR horse gave so much joy to so many. My sincere thanks to Mr. Baffert and MRH for allowing us to be a small part of an AUTHENTIC experience.

        • Steve Haskin says:

          Wow, that was so touching and beautiful, Maryanne, and my condoldences on your loss. If you dont mind I changed Mr. Lukas to Mr. Baffert

        • Paula N Higgins says:

          Congratulations to Authentic, his connections, and all those who purchased a share in him. All the
          Vox Populi candidates were deserving nominees for the honor. Really an honor to even be nominated.
          Like many, I wish he was still racing next year. I will wish him a healthy and happy retirement

        • Paula N Higgins says:

          Maryanne, I am sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law. A heartbreaking year
          for you and your family.