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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The annual Woodford Reserve $1,000 mint julep honors black jockeys who won the Kentucky Derby.

This year's cup benefits the Project to Protect African-American Turf History. The non-profit organization, based in Kentucky, has been working for more than a decade to tell the history of the Black jockeys.

Jockeys were considered the first professional athletes in America winning 15 of the early Kentucky Derbys before being pushed out of the sport by racism and segregation.

Each of the 100 cups is engraved with the name of one Black jockey and the year or years they won the Derby. Cups numbered 1-11 are gold-plated and sell for $2,500 each.  Cups 12-100 are silver-plated and sell for $1,000.

The cups were designed and hand-engraved by From the Vault jeweler in Louisville. Each comes in a bespoke purse designed by Louisville artist Albert Shumake -- and each cup is cradled in decorative silk designed by Louisville artist Gwendolyn Kelly. Kelly’s custom pattern is the “four-man clover,” representing the interconnected network of support and strength among Black jockeys, trainers, and groomsmen.

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