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Woodford Reserve, Churchill Downs renew partnership, rare bourbon planned for Derby 150 | Business

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Two of Kentucky’s best known brands are continuing a partnership for another five years.

Churchill Downs and Woodford Reserve announced the renewal of a contract on Wednesday. Woodford Reserve, a bourbon company based in Kentucky, has been the presenting sponsor of the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” since 2018.

“We are proud to renew this partnership, as it unites together two of Kentucky’s greatest attractions, bourbon and thoroughbreds,” said Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman Corporation, owner of Woodford Reserve.

Woodford Reserve is commemorating the partnership by creating a special bottle of bourbon for the 150th Kentucky Derby in 2024. Woodford Reserve celebrated the sponsorship by laying down oak in the Winner’s Circle at Churchill Downs.

The oak will be used in a barrel for a rare bourbon that celebrates the milestone race. Woodford Reserve plans to “season” the oak, leaving it in open air for almost two months, which will allow the wood to mature in preparation for finishing the whiskey.

Woodford Reserve became the “official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby” in 1999. The new agreement takes the partnership through 2027.

“We are pleased to build upon this partnership between two global entities that represent the unique culture and unbridled spirit of Kentucky. Brown-Forman’s brand offerings are the ideal complement to the heritage of this time-honored tradition,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated.

Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

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