Common Ground Alliance Members Partner to Sponsor Jockey Victor Espinoza, Rider of Kentucky Derby Favorite California Chrome, with 'Call 811' Message - - ABC13

Common Ground Alliance Members Partner to Sponsor Jockey Victor Espinoza, Rider of Kentucky Derby Favorite California Chrome, with 'Call 811' Message

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SOURCE Common Ground Alliance

California Chrome enters Churchill Downs seeking to extend four-race winning streak

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them, today announced that four of its member organizations – USA North 811, along with partners Underground Service Alert of Southern California (DigAlert), Dig Safely New York and Kentucky 811 – have partnered to sponsor jockey Victor Espinoza, who will ride California Chrome at this Saturday's 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

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California Chrome is the early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby due to in large part to his current four-race winning streak, including his most recent victory at the Santa Anita Derby on April 5. The California-based three-year-old won his last four races by a combined 24 and one-half lengths. Espinoza is no stranger to success in Triple Crown races, having guided War Emblem to wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2002.

As part of the sponsorship, Espinoza will wear the "Call 811" message – which promotes the national "call before you dig" phone number – on the side and back of his pants, as well as on his turtleneck and boots. The 811 service helps homeowners and professionals who plan to dig notify multiple utility companies with one free phone call.

Everyone who calls 811 a few days before digging is connected to a local one call notification center that will take the caller's information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional utility locating technicians will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint or flags. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities increases the likelihood of an unintentional damage, which can cause serious injuries, service disruptions and repair costs. An underground utility line is damaged every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to CGA data.

"CGA greatly appreciates the efforts of USA North 811, Underground Service Alert of Southern California, Dig Safely New York and Kentucky 811 for making this sponsorship possible," said Bob Kipp, Common Ground Alliance President. "The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held sporting event in the United States, and given that it occurs during the peak spring digging season and delivers a significant television audience, it's the perfect venue for promoting the importance of calling 811 to homeowners and professionals who dig."

This sponsorship comes one week after 811 was prominently featured at a race of a different sort, when Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion, drove to victory lane for the second time in three weeks with the 811 logo prominently featured on his car.

Pre-race coverage begins Saturday at noon EDT on NBC Sports Network, with NBC picking up the coverage at 4 p.m. and continuing through the post-race ceremony.

For more information about 811, please visit More information about Victor Espinoza and California Chrome is available on the Churchill Downs website at

About CGA
CGA is a member-driven association of 1,500 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at

Media Contact:       
Khrysanne Kerr

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