The announcement of sports sponsorships, in Thoroughbred racing and elsewhere, can often elicit an eye-roll. Monster Energy logos bedecking American Pharoah before the 2015 Belmont? UPS capitalizing on Big Brown’s name back in 2008? Big Brown’s jockey Kent Desormeaux accepting sponsorship from Hooters? You get the idea.
When Audible the audiobook company sponsored Audible the racehorse before this year’s Florida Derby, the response wasn’t quite as skeptical, perhaps because of the relative high-browness of a book company as compared to, say, Hooters. And, continuing its sponsorship through the Kentucky Derby, Audible also donated $40,000 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, an industry organization that provides funding for the retirement, retraining, and adoption of racehorses when their careers are over.
And only the most cynical could object to the arrangements made by the connections of Belmont Stakes runner Tenfold, a three-way partnership with Winchell Thoroughbreds, the horse’s owner; Sentient Jets; and Homes For Our Troops, a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts that builds custom homes for injured and disabled veterans.
The partnership began before the Kentucky Derby with Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Combatant. Out of the mare Border Dispute, the colt finished 18th in the Derby, and owner Ron Winchell decided not to press on with him through the rest of the Triple Crown.
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