It was announced by ESPN that American Pharoah will be sponsored by Monster energy drinks. What this means is that the cooling blanket used in the paddock before the race and on the walkover will have the Monster label on it. That is not such a big deal, and surely worth some revenue. However there is more to the story.
The sponsorship also includes with it the right for the Monster girls to march with the horse on the walkover and around him in the paddock. What’s the big deal you say? These girls will be scantily clad according to the ESPN release. So what, says some . .. sex sells. Others say there should not be objectification of women. I see both sides of that argument, however I’m looking at it from the perspective of a racing purist. The paddock is for owners, trainers, and horsemen. To take this place where the horses are saddled and final instructions are given is disrespectful to the sport and those owners who understand tradition.
While Mr. Zayat can do whatever he chooses to maximize the profit potential from this horse, the lack of respect for the sport is evident. While his horse may be the class of this three year old crop; clearly the class of the owner is more than suspect. It is clear that Ahmet Zayat went to the Gordon Gekko school of business, where everyone and everything has its price and for him this is the week they are willing to pay top dollar.