Kenny Dichter wants Wichita to pay close attention to Saturday's Belmont Stakes horse race.
Dichter's private aviation company, Wheels Up — whose fleet of nearly 100 airplanes comprises Wichita-built Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops and Cessna Citation Excel and X business jets — is sponsoring Triple Crown favorite Justify in an exclusive agreement made this week.
That means Justify's saddle blanket will be imprinted with the Wheels Up logo, as will jockey Mike Smith's shirt and pants, Dichter said.
He wouldn't disclose the value of the sponsorship agreement.
"I think we're really representing you guys and all the people who put together the King Air 350is and Citation Excels," Dichter said Thursday morning.
If history is any indication, a Wheels Up sponsorship for a horse in the Triple Crown is good luck.
Whether Justify wins or not, Dichter said, "I always want the city of Wichita to know they have a horse in the race."