On June 6, the team behind Triple Crown contender Justify (Elliott Walden, President and Chief Executive of WinStar Farm, co-owners with China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing) announced Wheels Up, the revolutionary member-based private aviation company, as an exclusive sponsor.
As part of the sponsorship, Wheels Up will be the only brand to appear on Justify and his jockey, Mike Smith, covering the horse's blanket and Smith's pant legs, turtleneck, and boots, during his run at the Belmont Stakes (G1) Saturday.
This will be the second time Wheels Up has signed on to sponsor a Triple Crown contender. The last was with winner American Pharoah , making Wheels Up undefeated in Triple Crown sponsorship and putting everything on the line with Justify.
Trained by the legendary American racehorse trainer Bob Baffert, who also trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Justify began this year with three wins at Santa Anita, including the Santa Anita Derby, before going on to claim victories in the 2018 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
"Heading into Belmont, our team is thrilled to partner with Wheels Up, America's fastest-growing private aviation company," said Elliott Walden, President and Chief Executive of WinStar Farm, who co-owns Justify with the China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing. "Wheels Up is laser-focused on ensuring their members get to destinations as safely and efficiently as possible. Team Justify shares the same goals and vision as Wheels Up, especially as we aim to fly into the Winner's Circle this Saturday."
The deal was managed by NYC-based Leverage Agency, the exclusive sales and marketing agency for Justify, who also handled the sponsorship of American Pharoah in 2015.
"Wheels Up is an innovative brand that is changing the landscape of private aviation," said Ben Sturner, CEO of Leverage. "We cannot think of a better brand than Wheels Up to partner with a horse like Justify."