Off To the Races!
Last year, thoroughbred racehorse American Pharoah ended the 37-year drought by winning the Triple Crown. The Zayat Stables horse swept the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, and he even scored bonus points by winning a fourth race, the Breeders Cup. Maker's Mark has decided to honor this amazing thoroughbred by releasing a limited-edition commemorative bottle. Maker's abandoned its signature red wax in favor of turquoise blue, with a profile of American Pharoah in yellow. Blue and yellow are the colors of Zayat Stables' silks. Owner Ahmed Zayat is thrilled the Kentucky bourbon company has decided to pay tribute to his horse.
“American Pharoah proved to an entire generation of racing fans that the impossible can be achieved,” said Zayat. “It was a joy for us to race him each and every time he took the track, and we thank Maker’s Mark for their fitting tribute to this once-in-a-lifetime racehorse.”
Just in time for this year's Kentucky Derby, the bottles will be released nationwide starting Sunday, May 1, with a suggested retail price of $74.99.
To further pay their respects to the horse-racing industry, both Maker's Mark and Zayat Stables will make a donation to the nonprofit Kentucky Derby Museum, which is located inside Churchill Downs, the historic racetrack in Louisville, Ky., where the Derby is held. The “fastest two minutes in sports” will take place this year on Saturday, May 7.
Rob Samuels, chief operating officer of Maker's Mark, said his company has always had a bond with the horse-racing industry.
“Maker’s Mark has always had a strong connection with horse racing,” he said. “Without the support of the thoroughbred industry in the early days of our brand, Maker’s Mark simply wouldn’t exist. We’re honored to help grow the sport we love while also commemorating one of the most remarkable achievements in sports history.”
American Pharoah is now spending his retirement and stud days at the Ashford Stud Farms near Frankfort, Ky., and if you happen to live in Kentucky or are planning on visiting, there are actually trips led by Mint Julep Tours that'll take you through the Kentucky Derby Museum as well as a visit to the farm.
And, of course, the Maker's Mark Distillery is located not too terribly far from Louisville in Loretto, Ky., and it's worth the hour-and-a-half drive through Kentucky's sprawling backroads.