Release Date: 01 May 2008
Release ID: 644
UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced a sponsorship that will send the UPS colors off with jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard favorite Big Brown in the 2008 running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Big Brown, owned by IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr., enters the 134th edition of the Derby undefeated after a five-length win in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. The sponsorship is a logical one for UPS since Pompa named the colt after the company. As the owner of the Truck-Rite Corp. in Brooklyn, N.Y., Pompa was so happy after renewing a contract with UPS Freight in 2007 that he celebrated by naming his newly purchased thoroughbred Big Brown.
"Having UPS riding with us on Saturday is a tremendous honor and we look forward to cheering on our horse in one of the greatest sporting events in the world," said Richard Schiavo, co-president and CEO of International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc., which owns IEAH Stables.
With support from UPS, Desormeaux hopes to win the Kentucky Derby in what will be just the fourth career start for Big Brown, a feat that hasn't been matched since the filly Regret won the 1915 Kentucky Derby in her fourth career start. A two-time Kentucky Derby winner himself, Desormeaux is no stranger to the pressure of racing a Derby favorite. The man who will wear UPS-branded pants during the Kentucky Derby this Saturday raced 2000 Derby favorite Fusaichi Pegasus to the win, breaking a 21-year drought for Derby favorites.
"This horse is a major talent and possibly the best horse I've ever ridden," Desormeaux said of Big Brown. "Riding with UPS is a perfect fit and we're definitely looking to let everyone 'See What Big Brown Can Do For You' on the racetrack."
Big Brown won his first race by more than 12 lengths on Sept. 3, 2007, at New York's Saratoga Race Course, then followed that with another impressive 12-length allowance victory at Gulfstream Park on March 5. He won the Florida Derby on March 29.
UPS became the Official Delivery Company of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) in 2006. The company created the "Off to the Races Delivered by UPS" program in 2007 to link its NASCAR sponsorships with its association with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
UPS continued the "Off to the Races" program in 2008, including a special paint scheme on the #44 UPS Toyota that was raced by driver David Reutimann in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend.
Reutimann will appear at Churchill Downs on Wednesday as part of the sweepstakes program. He will be joined by car owner Michael Waltrip and teammate Dale Jarrett for the festivities, including a race sponsored by UPS. All three drivers will participate in the trophy presentation as well as an autograph session. Later in the day, Jarrett and Desormeaux will participate in the live ESPN broadcast of the annual Kentucky Derby post position draw to provide insight into Big Brown's Derby chances.
As part of the "Off to the Races" program, UPS awarded one lucky winner and a guest trips to both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Talladega and the Kentucky Derby. Sweepstakes winner Tim Bloodgood of New York attended the Aaron's 499 last weekend and will travel to Louisville this weekend to watch Desormeaux race Big Brown in the 134th Kentucky Derby.
"UPS had a very hard time convincing Dale Jarrett to 'race the truck' and we knew we'd never get him on a thoroughbred," said Ron Rogowski, director of sponsorship for UPS. "So this is exciting to have a winning jockey with a track record on a horse that honors the color brown."
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