LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 3 /PRNewswire/
Less than a week after unveiling its newest online horse racing software, digital entertainment giantBodog.com announced that it has signed an exclusive contract to sponsor Brother Derek, the current favorite for the 132nd running of the KentuckyDerby on Saturday.
In a move that marks the first partnership of its kind, Bodog.com's brand will be visible to thousands of spectators during Derby weekend at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Bodog.com will be holding onsite events and will present a $25,000 check to Brother Derek's trainer, Dan Hendricks, in support of a charity to be named by Hendricks.
"Our involvement in an event of such magnitude clearly demonstrates our desire to play a role in supporting America's racing community," says Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of Bodog.com, and the recent cover subject of Forbes' "Billionaires" issue. " Plenty of excitement surrounds Brother Derek. After having won the Santa Anita Derby, he's the betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby and for good reason. We anticipate one heck of a weekend."
The Brother Derek racing team is comprised of owner Cecil Peacock, trainer Dan Hendricks and jockey Alex Solis, and is managed by Florida-based Elite Consulting.
Solis, a native of Panama City, has won 20 meet riding titles, including six consecutive meet titles during 1996-97. In 2005, he earned $9,647,743 from 729 mounts, good for 14th place nationally. He finished second in the Kentucky Derby three out of four years with Captain Bodgit in1997, Victory Gallop in 1998 and Aptitude in 2000.
Hendricks has saddled winners of nearly 70 stakes, among them almost 30 graded events, including sending out Smooth Player to upset Excellent Meeting in the 1999 Hollywood Oaks (Grade I). Brother Derek will be Hendricks' first Derby starter.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with one of America's fastest growing digital entertainment brands," Hendricks says. "Bodog.com will bring significant attention to our sport. We certainly look forward to a strongand lasting relationship."
Brother Derek is the 3/1 favorite heading into the Derby and leads the field in graded stakes earnings with almost $1.1 million. Nineteen other thoroughbreds will challenge Brother Derek in his bid to become the first California-bred to win the Kentucky Derby since 1962. Lawyer Ron, winner of six in a row, and $940,800 in graded stakes earnings, and Barbaro, undefeated in six career starts, with $750,000 in graded stakes earnings are considered to be his primary competitors.
For all of Bodog.com's racing lines, see http://www.bodog.com/racebook/.
Bodog.com, located in San Jose, Costa Rica, is federally licensed by the Costa Rican and UK governments. Bodog.com Founder and CEO Calvin Ayre, who is recognized as the true pioneer of online gambling and a world authority on branding in the digital entertainment industry, was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine's best-selling "Billionaires" issue in March 2006. Bodog.com is the top-ranked US facing online gambling brand,with highest site traffic amongst multi-product US gaming web sites, according to Hitwise. Bodog.com, valued at over US $1 billion and ranked inthe Power 10 online companies by eGaming Review, processed $7 billion in wagers in 2005. The Bodog.com Marketing Conference,http://www.bodogconference.com/ will take place at the Wynn Las Vegas, July 23-26,2006, attracting the leaders of the online gambling industry. Bodog Entertainment Group also includes a music label, Bodog Music, an online magazine, Bodog Nation, a television production unit and further properties coming soon.