Seigenfeld said last week that it is unlikely that this year's Triple Crown Challenge will have a sponsor, meaning the bonus will not be offered. Visa USA ended its 10-year sponsorship of the Challenge following last year's classics. Seigenfeld said TCP was close to entering into a sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch but that not agreement was reached.
The executive vice president of Triple Crown Productions says that the organization has received no formal offer from Bodog.com, an online gaming company that claims it has offered to sponsor the $5-million Triple Crown Challenge.Ed Seigenfeld, executive vice president of TCP, said he received a general inquiry last week about the possibility of pledging the $5-million bonus that is offered to any horse that wins the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I), and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) or for the insurance premium that is usually obtained to cover the bonus. Seigenfeld said there was no followup contact from the company that made the inquiry.In a press release issued Tuesday, Bodog.com said the company made an offer to cover the bonus to TCP last week. "Winning all three of these Thoroughbred horse races represents the pinnacle of horse racing," says Calvin Ayre, founder and CEO of Bodog.com, which is based in San Jose, Costa Rica. "Bodog.com would be honored to play a part in ensuring that one of the sport's greatest and rarest prizes is kept intact." Seigenfeld added that sponsorship of the Triple Crown Challenge entails more than just covering the $5-million bonus."Sponsorship would involve much more than just payment of the bonus permium and we have received no formal offer from that company," Seigenfeld said. "That is not even within the realm of possibility."