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Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cups Now Available


April 14, 2023 – On May 6 the 149th Kentucky Derby returns to Churchill Downs for what is known as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”.  It is also the 50th anniversary of the amazing Secretariat winning The Kentucky Derby, a historic moment in thoroughbred history.  Woodford Reserve, the Presenting Sponsor of the Derby adds to the celebration of Secretariat’s win with The Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep™ charity program, a distinctive annual tradition.

A total of 150 cups will be available for purchase starting April 13. Cups must be picked up at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, May 6, at the $1,000 Mint Julep Experience in the paddock.

This year, all proceeds benefit the Secretariat Foundation.  The foundation was created by Mrs. Penny Chenery, who owned Secretariat, to support thoroughbred and equine-related industries.  Chenery passed away in 2017, but her children continue operating the charity in her memory.

Handmade by Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault each cup features a design of Secretariat’s famed blue and white checkered silks in sapphires. One side of the cup features an engraving of 1973, the year Secretariat won The Kentucky Derby, and the other features 2023.

Of the 150 cups available, 100 are silver cups retailing for $1,000, and 50 are gold cups retailing for $3,500. Everyone purchasing the gold cups will have their names engraved on the bottom (purchase must be made before April 26) and they will receive the handwritten autograph of Secretariat Jockey Ron Turcotte. All cups will be nestled in silk artwork of Secretariat in the Winner’s Circle at Churchill Downs. 


The mint julep recipe below features Woodford Reserve Bourbon and handmade chestnut liqueur, which honors Secretariat’s chestnut coat, as well as mint and Virginia bluebell flowers to celebrate the state where Secretariat was born. 

“Secretariat is one of the most iconic thoroughbreds in horse racing history, and it’s an honor to celebrate his enduring legacy through our $1,000 Mint Julep program,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall. “The money raised from this charity program will help ensure the impact of Secretariat is told for many years to come.”

Secretariat’s Mint Julep

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz. chestnut liqueur
  • 1 sprig of mint, for garnish
  • 1 stalk of Virginia bluebells, for garnish 

Method:  Mix, then pour over a julep cup filled with crushed ice. Garnish with one sprig of mint and one stalk of Virginia bluebells.