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This Weekend, the Kentucky Derby Goes Hollywood

Sports are starting back up in the United States. This Saturday, September 5, the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports returns.

The Kentucky Derby has taken place on the first Saturday in May since 1946, making it an enduring tradition. Of course, the global outbreak of Covid-19 has thrown traditions into utter chaos.

This year, the Derby will take place 126 days later than initially planned. Tiz the Law is favored to take home the roses on Saturday. Should he also win at Preakness, the horse would become the 14th Triple Crown winner in history.

One longstanding tradition that has refused to be affected by the pandemic is the release of the Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby bottle.

When Woodford Reserve became the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby in 1999, the distillery released the first collector’s bottle dedicated to the event. The 21st such release will accompany the 146th running of the Derby.

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher-turned-artist Richard Sullivan was commissioned for the 2020 Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby bottle artwork. Sullivan was raised in Louisville, KY.

However, the storied bourbon brand felt the need to make this year’s race day even more special. Anyone who has attended the Kentucky Derby or watched it on TV knows that it’s about so much more than just the horses. The grounds of Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, are stunning any day of the week. But on Derby Day their grandeur is taken to an entirely different level.

Attendees dress to impress. Celebrities walk a red carpet. Bartenders mix up an incredible amount of Mint Juleps—the official drink of the Kentucky Derby—and other specialty cocktails, such as the Woodford Reserve Spire.

Unfortunately, as with so many sports events this year, there won’t be any fans in the Churchill Downs stands for the Derby. Fortunately, Woodford Reserve has come up with a brilliant idea. Along with presenting the 2020 Kentucky Derby and releasing their accompanying commemorative bottle, Woodford Reserve is hosting a unique digital event for viewers around the world to help them celebrate the race at home.

From 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST this Saturday, Woodford Reserve will livestream “Derby Goes Hollywood” on their Facebook page. Celebrity mixologist Charity Johnston and celebrities such as Julz Tocker from ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and Erik Miles from VH-1’s Love & Listings will bring viewers into their homes to celebrate the return of the Derby.

“Derby Goes Hollywood” will benefit the Los Angeles-based non-profit Mini-Therapy Horses. The 501(c)(3) charity brings comfort, affection and joy to tens of thousands of children and adults across the country each year through a team of highly trained miniature horses. To learn more about this all-volunteer charity that survives solely on donations, please watch the Elite Daily video below.

To participate in Woodford Reserve’s livestream of “Derby Goes Hollywood,” follow this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins.

Images provided by Woodford Reserve

David Klemt View All

I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.

After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.

A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.

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