Keeneland Race Course and Maker’s Mark® Kentucky Bourbon today announced a new chapter in their longstanding partnership with the launch of “Greats of the Gate,” a 10-year commemorative bottle series celebrating Thoroughbred racing’s most iconic horses – featuring a different horse each year.  


Arriving this year in October exclusively at select Kentucky retailers, the inaugural bottle will honor the legendary Lexington-foaled Man o’ War, who competed from 1919 to 1920, winning 20 of 21 races, including the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, while establishing seven track records for speed over various distances.


“Keeneland and Maker’s Mark have a rich history of working hand-in-hand to support organizations making an impact in Kentucky,” said Rob Samuels, Managing Director of Maker’s Mark and eighth-generation whisky maker. “We’re honored to partner each year in such a meaningful way, dating back to when Keeneland was our first customer serving Maker’s Mark in the 1950s and setting the stage for decades of collaboration to follow.” 


The limited-editon bottle features an illustration by Kentucky artist Tyler Robertson with artwork wrapping around the bottle in yellow and black – the racing colors for Man o’ War. The horse is shown on both sides of the bottle in streaks of yellow to connote him coming around the final turn and heading down the stretch to the finish. The bottle’s crown will be dipped in bright yellow wax and topped with a black silk ribbon. This bottle will be available in October exclusively at select Kentucky retailers that sell Maker’s Mark.


Proceeds from each year’s “Greats of the Gate” bottle will benefit nonprofits that support Kentucky culture, including the horseracing industry, hospitality and the arts. Over the course of the 10 years, Keeneland and Maker’s Mark are committed to raising $4 million for various Kentucky nonprofit organizations through this bottle series.


“Keeneland is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Maker’s Mark to benefit both the Thoroughbred industry and our local communities,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “Keeneland and Maker’s Mark share a mission of service and philanthropy, and the commemorative bottles have been a fun way to engage our fans and support deserving organizations through the years.”


For the first three years of the 10-year series, the “Greats of the Gate” bottle will support Kentucky Harvest, Arts Center of the Bluegrass and Blue Grass Farms Charities.  The Art Center of the Bluegrass connects people to art, culture, and creativity through exhibits, hands on art making, arts appreciation, and cultural experiences, while the mission of Kentucky Harvest is to end local hunger by connecting with food donors and engaging volunteers to rescue excess food and move it from those who have it to those in need.


Blue Grass Farms Charities (BGFC), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, provides health and human services to those who work in the Central Kentucky Thoroughbred Industry, including a much-needed food assistance program. Proceeds from the Man o’ War bottle will support construction of a new food pantry located at The Thoroughbred Center (TTC) on Paris Pike, Keeneland’s year-round training facility, making it accessible to the greatest number of industry workers. BGFC continues to serve Fayette, Bourbon, Woodford, Scott and Jessamine area farms and facilities. 


Click here to sign up for The Bourbon Flight Newsletter.
Click here for more Bottle Releases.
Owner/President at The Bourbon Flight, LLC | + posts