Besilu Stables has signed a multi-year contract as presenting sponsor of both the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) and $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Gulfstream Park announced Dec. 12.
Both major preps for Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, the graded stakes will be known as the "Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth" and the "Besilu Stables Florida Derby" beginning next year and continuing through 2015.
The Florida Derby, to be run March 30, has produced 41 starters who have gone on to win 56 Triple Crown events. The most recent was 2012 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Union Rags , who earlier in the year won Gulfstream's Fountain of Youth.
"We are pleased to be a corporate partner of Gulfstream Park, home to the prestigious Florida Derby," said Benjamin Leon Jr., president of Besilu Stables. "Gulfstream is one of the world's top racing facilities, with a long tradition of supporting and promoting Florida's horse industry, a vital part of our economy."
Gulfstream president Tim Ritvo said, "We're delighted to partner with Mr. Leon and Besilu Stables. Mr. Leon is known as a business pioneer and philanthropist as well as someone who believes in Florida's Thoroughbred industry. We look forward to a productive partnership these next three years."