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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sport
Jon Lees

Breeders' Cup winner Cody's Wish's bond with brave teenager wins him special award

Cody’s Wish, the Breeders’ Cup winner who shares a special bond with a teenager who lives with a rare genetic disorder, has won an award named after the legendary Secretariat.

The Godolphin-owned colt has been voted the winner of the 2022 Secretariat Vox Populi Award, which recognises the horse who has done most to connect with the public.

Cody’s Wish, who is trained in the US by Bill Mott, won four of his five races during the year culminating in success in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland in November.

But it was his continuing connection with 16-year-old Cody Dorman, from Richmond in Kentucky, that captured fans’ hearts and votes.

The story began in 2018 when Dorman, who suffers from Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome which renders him unable to speak or walk and communicate only by tablet, was offered a tour of Godolphin’s Gainsborough Farm as part of Keeneland’s Make-A-Wish Day.

During the visit, an inquisitive six-month-old foal walked over and put his head in the boy’s lap and from that moment was given the name Cody’s Wish. The colt has never lost a race when Dorman has been in attendance.

“Cody’s Wish and his namesake Cody Dorman forged an instant bond that would grow to connect millions of fans to their inspiring story of hope and determination,” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery who established the award.

The story began in 2018 when Dorman, who suffers from Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome which renders him unable to speak or walk and communicate only by tablet, was offered a tour of Godolphin’s Gainsborough Farm as part of Keeneland’s Make-A-Wish Day.

During the visit, an inquisitive six-month-old foal walked over and put his head in the boy’s lap and from that moment was given the name Cody’s Wish. The colt has never lost a race when Dorman has been in attendance.

“Cody’s Wish and his namesake Cody Dorman forged an instant bond that would grow to connect millions of fans to their inspiring story of hope and determination,” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery who established the award.

“Not only did Cody’s Wish win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, as Cody predicted, but both Cody’s won the hearts of people everywhere. Their uplifting story exemplifies the best ideals of the Vox Populi Award, just as Mom wished.”

A message from the Dorman family congratulating Cody’s Wish said: “Thank you Cody’s Wish for not only having the heart of a warrior on the track but even more so for having a heart of gold off of it.

“You have not only inspired an amazing young man in Cody Dorman but you’ve touched the hearts of thousands of people in many walks of life. You’ve provided tears of joy, warmed hearts and provided a simple smile to so many.

“The love shown between Cody and Cody’s Wish is such a blessing. A blessing that has shown up when nobody knew it was coming. An instant blessing between a special boy and a special horse that will be cherished for years to come.”

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