Besilu Stables To Be Presenting Sponsor of Florida Derby, Fountain of Youth
Gulfstream Park announced today it has signed a multi-year contract establishing Besilu Stables as presenting sponsor of both the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) and $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2).
Both major preps for Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, the graded stakes for Triple Crown prospects will be known as 'The Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth' and 'The Besilu Stables Florida Derby' during the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 meets.
"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."
Mr. Leon spent 30 years breeding and showing Paso Fino horses before purchasing his first Thoroughbred in 2009. He owns a 650-acre farm in Ocala and has invested heavily in real estate in Marion County, the heart of Florida's horse country. Mr. Leon is the owner of two-time Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic winner Royal Delta, who was purchased for $8.5 million in 2011.
The Florida Derby, to be run March 30, has produced 41 starters who have gone on to win 56 Triple Crown events, the latest being 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags, who earlier this year won Gulfstream's Fountain of Youth.