The Maryland Jockey Club and Churchill Downs have announced sponsor partnerships with Longines, the Swiss watchmaker that has increased its involvement with Thoroughbred racing.
In Maryland, Longines has been named the official timekeeper and watch of the May 18 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), as well as title partner of the Longines Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) and presenting partner of the International Pavilion in the Pimlico Race Course infield.
In Kentucky, Longines will serve as "entitlement partner" of the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and will retain its role as official timekeeper and watch of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The Kentucky Oaks has been renamed the Longines Kentucky Oaks.
"This new partnership reinforces our commitment to equestrian sports in the United States and reflects our devotion to and fashion for these exciting sports, which match perfectly with our core values of elegance, tradition, and performance," Longines president Walter von Kanel said when the MJC partnership was announced. "We are also looking forward to be the presenting partner of the International Pavilion with Japan as the host nation."
Longines will present watches to the winning connections of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and Preakness, as well as have digital countdown clocks on the Derby and Preakness websites.