Collecting All Things Kentucky Derby

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 12:30pm
Reyne Hirsch

Collecting All Things Kentucky Derby

PC: DM Wines & Liquors

Each year, fans of the Kentucky Derby don their Sunday best and head to the track to watch “the greatest two minutes in sports.”

Attendees come from all over the world in hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite celebrity, gawk at the most outrageous hats and, of course, in hopes of hitting the jackpot by placing the right bet.

This year, Woodford Reserve ®, the Official Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby is offering one more memento from the day; a limited-edition Woodford Reserve bottle featuring the colorful artwork of Louisville artist, Keith Anderson.

For 11 years Anderson has worked in the Bourbon Street Café, the private dining room at the Brown-Forman headquarters in Louisville and has had his eye on the Derby bottle for some time. The Derby bottle has been an annual collector’s item anticipated by bourbon and racing fans since 1999. Beginning in 2003, Woodford Reserve began featuring the work of national artists.

This year’s bottle – the 19th in the series – features Anderson’s stunning painting of powerful thoroughbreds as they break from the starting gate, in the glory of their colorful racing silks.

At the 2017 company Derby party, while Anderson was stocking the bar, he told Mark Bacon, Senior Vice President at Brown-Forman: “These artists before me, they’re good, but I’m no slouch. One day, I will have that Derby bottle.”

Bacon told Anderson to send him some ideas and before long, Bacon was quickly impressed by the talent of the artist.

Anderson has drawn and painted since he was a child, but he’s never been a full-time artist. He sold artwork to friends to pay his tuition at Murray State University and, later, at the University of Louisville. He now has a studio in his home where he paints quietly in the middle of the night and sells artwork mainly to friends and family.

“It has been such an honor to have my artwork considered for this year’s commemorative Derby bottle,” Anderson said. “To have my artwork chosen is a dream come true.”

“Sometimes we overlook the very talent that’s right in front of us,” Bacon said. “We are deeply honored to start this new partnership with Churchill Downs – and to celebrate it with the beautiful artwork of Keith Anderson.”

The 2018 Kentucky Derby® Bottle hits shelves nationwide in March 2018. It can also be purchased online at Reserve Bar.

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