2017 marks the 8th consecutive year in which the Ram Truck brand is the official automotive sponsor of the legendary Kentucky Derby. This sponsorship of the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown includes branding for fans in attendance and those watching at home.
“Ram trucks are the perfect match for horse owners, trainers and riders, and partnering with America’s premiere racing events is a great way to demonstrate our commitment to these customers,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “With the longest-lasting pickup trucks on the market and class-leading capabilities, Ram trucks are well-deserving of the ‘Official Truck of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby’ status.”
Ram at the Derby
Horse racing fans who make the trip to Louisville for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby will be able to check out the new Ram Truck line in person, with on-site displays and plenty of signage throughout the facility, including on the video screens around the grounds. At the on-site displays, there will be opportunities for racing fans to score some Ram branded items.
Horse racing fans watching from home will be able to catch the latest Ram Truck brand commercials during the NBC telecast of the Kentucky Derby.
Also, Derby fans in Kentucky and everywhere else in the world will notice the Ram logos on the gate crew staff uniforms, along with on the clothing of three of the Kentucky Derby jockeys. Javier Castellano on Gunnevera, Brian Hernandez Jr. on McCraken and Joel Rosario on Practical Joke will each ride in the Derby with Ram logos, presumably on their pant legs.
Finally, a pink-wrapped Ram 3500 Limited dually will lead the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade on May 5th while a Ram ProMaster van will transport the famous blankets of flowers (Lilies on Friday, Roses on Saturday) to the winner’s circle.
A Free Ram for the Winning Trainer
For the first time in the 8-year sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby, the Ram Truck brand will award a new Ram 2500 to the trainer of the horse which wins the 143rd Run for the Roses.
This Ram 2500 Limited has a unique look (shown above), with the Brilliant Black paint accented by 143rd Kentucky Derby logos on the rear bedsides, along with a Kentucky Derby rose badge on the grille. It is a fairly minimal change from a production model, but the key aspect here is that this Ram 2500 Limited will be given to the trainer who brings the Derby winning horse to the track.
The lineup for the 143rd Kentucky Derby is available below, with the early odds showing the Classic Empire is the early favorite. Classic Empire is trained by Mike Casse, so right now, he is the odds-on favorite to win the one of a kind Ram 2500.
My pick is McCracken, but with the exception of American Pharaoh, I haven’t picked a Derby winner in the past decade.
The Horses of the 143rd Kentucky Derby:
1 Lookin at Lee 20-1
2 Thunder Snow 20-1
3 Fast and Accurate 50-1
4 Untrapped 30-1
5 Always Dreaming 5-1
6 State of Honor 30-1
7 Girvin 15-1
8 Hence 15-1
9 Irap 20-1
10 Gunnevera 15-1
11 Battle of Middway 30-1
12 Sonneteer 50-1
13 J Boys Echo 20-1
14 Classic Empire 4-1
15 McCracken 5-1
16 Tapwrit 20-1
17 Irish War Cry 6-1
18 Gormley 15-1
19 Practical Joke 20-1
20 Patch 30-1