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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Sales and Auction Heat Up

LOUISVILLE, Ky – The sale of the world’s most expensive mint julep cups is underway, and many horse racing fans have already purchased their own pieces of Kentucky Derby® history. Featuring internationally-acclaimed sports artist LeRoy Neiman’s Secretariat 35th anniversary artwork and all-natural Kentucky ingredients, the $1,000 Mint Julep Cup will be available for purchase or auction online until Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at noon (EST). For fans who really want to take their chances, Woodford Reserve has held back a limited quantity of the Secretariat cups for purchase on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3, 2008, at Churchill Downs®, to be sold on a first come, first buy basis when the gates open.

Online sales and auction of the 99 collectible cups began Monday, April 14 at Kentucky Derby fans have purchased 55 Secretariat cups, leaving 28 for online sale until April 29 at noon when the advance purchase period ceases. A limited number of Secretariat cups will be sold on Kentucky Derby Day. Nine auction bids total have been placed on the two jewel-encrusted Legendary Silks cups. Proceeds from the cups will benefit The Secretariat Foundation which assists and supports various charities and causes within the thoroughbred racing community.

Not your standard julep, owners of the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup will enjoy a selection of ingredients highlighting Secretariat’s heritage and enduring legacy. The cocktail is made with the finest all-natural ingredients found in Kentucky: lush mint from Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. (the final home and resting place of Secretariat); ice made of limestone water from Woodford County, Ky., where thoroughbreds outnumber humans; a special selection of sugar made from naturally-grown sorghum created specifically for this cocktail in Louisville; and a small batch of the Master Distiller’s personal selection of Woodford Reserve bourbon.

“Secretariat’s legacy has impacted the thoroughbred industry since his record-setting Kentucky Derby victory 35 years ago. We are proud to honor Secretariat and expect the auction to heat up even more as the Kentucky Derby approaches,” said Wayne Rose, brand director for Woodford Reserve.

How to Purchase a Cup

Starting on April 14, 2008, consumers, 21 years and older, began visiting to purchase or bid on one of the two different cup offerings. Presented on one day, at one place only, all cups purchased must be picked up by the buyer or the buyer’s proxy on May 3, 2008, Kentucky Derby Day at historic Churchill Downs.

Secretariat Cups

97 of the 99 total cups featuring a full-color medallion reproduction of LeRoy Neiman’s Secretariat 35th Anniversary artwork are carefully engraved with Secretariat’s name and offered with a sterling silver sipping straw. The cups are available at for $1,000 on a “first come, first buy” basis until Tuesday, April 29, with a limited number available for purchase on Kentucky Derby Day.

Legendary Silks Cups

One carat total weight of sapphires and diamonds embellish each of the two Legendary Silks cups and represent the blue and white silks from Big Red’s distinguished career. The cups are also adorned with LeRoy Neiman’s artwork and are presented with an exclusive 24-karat gold-plated sipping straw. Consumers can bid on one of the two Legendary Silks cups during the on-line auction which began on April 14 and ends at noon (EST) on April 29.

The Mint Julep Cocktail

Cup owners will receive an exclusive mint julep when they pick up their cup at The Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience at Churchill Downs. With one-of-a-kind ingredients, including a special selection of Woodford Reserve bourbon, mint from Claiborne Farm, a unique sorghum sugar and ice made from limestone water, the cup is destined to become a collector’s item.

Special guests like Chris Morris, the master distiller of Woodford Reserve, and Tim Laird, Brown-Forman’s chief entertaining officer, will be on hand to greet the owners of the mint julep cups. The 99 gold cups will be presented to buyers on Kentucky Derby Day at one location where the unique cocktail will also be offered.

Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve, 45.2% ABV, is the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby” made at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky – the heart of thoroughbred country. Woodford Reserve is one of the fine spirits produced and marketed by Brown-Forman Corporation, a diversified company responsible for other quality consumer products including: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Fetzer and Bolla Wines, and Korbel California Champagnes. Woodford Reserve reminds you to drink responsibly. For more information on Woodford Reserve visit

The Secretariat Foundation

The Secretariat Foundation was created by Mrs. Penny Chenery to serve as a charitable organization assisting and supporting various charities and causes within the thoroughbred racing community. The Foundation’s mission is to provide general funding and recognition for non-profit equine-related programs in the areas of: veterinary research; retirement and rehabilitation facilities; higher education scholarships; and therapeutic equestrian programs. To learn more about The Secretariat Foundation visit

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“Churchill Downs”), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates world-renowned horse racing venues throughout the United States. Churchill Downs’ five racetracks in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana host many of North America’s most prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Arlington Million, Princess Rooney Handicap, Louisiana Derby and Indiana Derby. Churchill Downs’ racetracks have hosted seven Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Churchill Downs also owns off-track betting facilities and has interests in various advance deposit wagering, television production, telecommunications and racing services companies that support Churchill Downs’ network of simulcasting and racing operations. Churchill Downs trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found on the Internet at

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY ©2008