LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Black jockeys that have won the Kentucky Derby are being honored with this year's Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep.

The distillery announced on Tuesday that its annual charity will pay tribute to the Black jockeys who 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.

“The jockeys played a significant role in horse racing that many people know little about,” Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris said in a release. “It’s time to honor them and their legacies. They each exemplified love for the sport and the pursuit of excellence, despite the inequality and injustice they faced throughout their lives and careers.”

Proceeds from this year’s cup sales benefit the Kentucky-based non-profit Project to Protect African-American Turf History. 

A total of 100 julep cups are being sold online at WoodfordReserveMintJulep.com Cups numbered 1-11 are gold-plated and sell for $2,500 each. Cups 12-100 are silver-plated and sell for $1,000. Each cup is engraved with the name of one Black jockey and the year or years they won the Derby.

The cups were designed and hand-engraved by From the Vault jeweler in Louisville. Each cup comes in a specially designed purse by Louisville artist Albert Shumake. Each cup is wrapped in a decorative "four man clover" silk designed by Louisville artist Gwendolyn Kelly. The custom silk pattern represents the interconnected network of support and strength among Black jockeys, trainers, and groomsmen.

Because of the pandemic, the cups will be mailed directly to consumers, along with most of the ingredients to make the Cherries and Cream mint julep. Cherries and cream were common ingredients for a Derby Day menu in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Cherries & Cream Julep

The cherries and cream julep is inspired by the Derby Day menus of the late 1800s and early 1900s when Black jockeys won the race. Vanilla bean pods represent the cream.

2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon

.5 oz. Cherry juice

Half a vanilla bean pod (cut into small segments)

1 tsp. Powdered sugar

Crushed Ice

Garnish: Mint sprig, cherry and vanilla bean pod

In the julep cup, add .5 oz cherry juice. Add half a vanilla bean pod cut into small segments. Add 1 tsp. of powdered sugar. Muddle or mix together. Add crushed ice to 2/3 of the cup. Add 2 oz of Woodford Reserve. Top off the cup with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig, real cherry, and vanilla bean pod.

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