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Ford Sprints Out of the Gate as New Partner of Kentucky Derby

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Ford is new partner of Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby | Ford Kentucky Derby
The Ford F-Series will be featured at the Kentucky Derby in May
Photo: Ford

The most iconic event in equestrian racing is now being supported by the most iconic American automaker and best-selling truck brand of 43 years and counting. Ford announced on Monday that it has agreed to a new multiyear partnership with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, which kicks off on May 2 when the 2020 F-Series Super Duty takes over as the featured vehicle at the 146th Run for the Roses.

Ford marketing director Matt Van Dyke says that the partnership with Churchill Downs is a long time coming given the company’s large presence in the city of Louisville. Both the Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant are located near the track, which makes the pairing of the F-Series and Kentucky Derby as easy as fit as bourbon and mint on race day.

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“While our workhorse trucks naturally play a huge role supporting the many aspects of the equine and racing industries, our legendary sports car is named Mustang and our much-anticipated off-roading icon is Bronco,” Van Dyke notes. “Ford products capture the freedom synonymous with the relationship between a winning horse and jockey.”

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In its capacity as the official truck, non-luxury SUV, car, and van of Churchill Downs and the Derby, Ford will play a major role in the run-up to this year’s Run for the Roses. During Derby Week, there will be special-access events for FordPass Rewards members as well as Ford-sponsored celebrations for members of the military. In addition, Ford will lend use of several Explorer SUVs to horse owners taking part in the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, and it will have several vehicles on display during the race proper.

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  • Ford lineup at Churchill Downs
  • Ford lineup at Churchill Downs
  • Ford lineup at Churchill Downs
  • Ford is new partner of Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby