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Churchill Downs Announces Longines as Entitlement Partner of Longines Kentucky Oaks 139
Churchill Downs Racetrack, home of the world famous Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, has entered into a long-term agreement with internationally renowned Swiss watchmaker Longines to serve as Entitlement Partner of the Kentucky Oaks and to retain its role as Official Watch and Timekeeper of the Kentucky Derby. As a result of its existing and expanded partnership, the Kentucky Oaks has been renamed the “Longines Kentucky Oaks,” and Longines is the Official Timekeeper of Churchill Downs Racetrack. Longines will host multiple events surrounding Longines Kentucky Oaks Day, Friday, May 3, 2013, and the famed “Run for the Roses,” Saturday, May 4, 2013.
As it has in the past, Longines will award watches from the elegant Longines Saint-Imier Collection to the winning horses’ owner, trainer and jockey on both race days. A Longines digital countdown clock is currently featured on the Churchill Downs website, www.KentuckyDerby.com, as the official countdown to the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” Represented by tennis legend and longtime Ambassador of Elegance Stefanie Graf, Longines will have a strong presence throughout Churchill Downs and other Derby-affiliated events including Taste of Derby, the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest and the Winner’s Party. Additionally, Longines will sponsor the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile presented by Longines on Kentucky Derby afternoon and will have timepieces and branded clocks on display throughout the Churchill Downs facility. The brand’s logo will also be prominently featured on the official Kentucky Derby Red Carpet, racetrack and other surrounding areas.
Longines Kentucky Oaks 139 is the Kentucky Derby’s $1 million companion race for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles and is televised on NBC Sports from 5-6 p.m. (ET) The Longines Kentucky Oaks features a “Ladies First” theme, continuing the “Pink Out!” tradition which encourages all attendees to wear pink to the track. The Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest will celebrate elegant Derby style and will award one lucky woman who successfully models her own personal ensemble on the “pink carpet” a stainless steel and rose gold Longines Saint-Imier Collection watch featuring a stunning diamond bezel.
“Longines Kentucky Oaks Day is all about the ladies,” said Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery. “Our female fans continue to respond favorably to the new traditions of fashion and fun that we have been bringing them over these last few years, and we feel that the elegant Longines brand is a natural fit for the feminine spirit of the Longines Kentucky Oaks.”
“Our passion at Longines is equestrian sports, so we are delighted to return for a third year as the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the Kentucky Derby and to expand our partnership to include the Longines Kentucky Oaks,” said Longines President Walter von Känel. “This partnership embodies the Longines brand image and philosophy stated in its slogan ‘Elegance is an attitude.’”
LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS DAY ACTIVITIES:
“Pink Out!” Tradition Continues
The official color of the Longines Kentucky Oaks is pink in celebration of all the ladies. The Pink Out encourages all Oaks attendees to wear pink or incorporate pink into their attire to show their support for cancer survivors. Churchill Downs will be decked out in pink as well, including pink-colored bunting, flower beds, flags and jockeys’ and pony riders’ apparel. Churchill Downs bugler Steve Buttleman will sport a pink uniform as he calls horses to the post throughout Longines Kentucky Oaks Day.
Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest
Ladies of all ages in attendance on Longines Kentucky Oaks Day can enter the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest for the chance to win a stainless steel and rose gold Longines Saint-Imier Collection watch featuring a stunning diamond bezel. Entrants showcasing their finest Longines Kentucky Oaks attire will be judged on the “Pink Carpet” inside Gate 10. Participants are judged by how well they incorporate pink into their ensemble. Coverage of the contest appears on NBC Sports Network.
Survivors Parade presented by Kroger
The 2013 Survivors Parade presented by Kroger provides some of the most memorable and touching moments as cancer survivors invited by Churchill Downs parade along the main track just moments before the running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks. This year, Churchill Downs has invited back participants from the 2012 Survivor Parade which was interrupted by storms last year.
$1 Million Longines Kentucky Oaks
Kentucky Oaks Day – an unofficial Louisville holiday with many schools and businesses closed – is the third largest attended horse race in America only behind the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. In 2012, 112,552 attended the festivities, which marked the 12th time in the last 13 years that attendance topped the 100,000 mark. With a $1 million guaranteed purse, The Longines Kentucky Oaks is the most lucrative American horse race for 3-year-old fillies. Twenty-six Oaks winners have gone on to be crowned with an Eclipse Award as North America’s champion 3-year-old filly and nine are enshrined in racing’s Hall of Fame.
The lofty purse reflects the Oaks’ status and importance as a sports and entertainment event. Wagering on the 12-race card in 2012 was a record $39.9 million, which included an unprecedented $11.8 million on the Oaks alone. The maximum number of starters in the race is 14, and at least 13 fillies have been in the starting gate for five of the last seven years. The winner receives a silver trophy, a garland of pink star-gazer lilies and an estimated $564,200 payday.
About Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012, and its Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier, Switzerland, since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations. Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.