Castle & Key to sponsor $200,000 Bourbon Stakes during Keeneland Fall Meet

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Keeneland) – Keeneland has announced that Castle & Key Distillery, one of Central Kentucky’s most popular distillery destinations, will sponsor the $200,000 Bourbon (G2), a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” event to be held Sunday, Oct. 10 as part of Fall Stars Weekend.

The Castle & Key Bourbon, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-olds, will award the winner a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) Nov. 5 at Del Mar.

“Keeneland is excited to expand our rich partnership with Castle & Key and welcome them as the sponsor of the Bourbon Stakes,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing Gatewood Bell said. “We value their support of Keeneland and our racing program, and look forward to further elevating the prominence of this important Breeders’ Cup Challenge race.”

“Castle & Key is close to my heart for obvious reasons,” said Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin, whose husband is Castle & Key Founding Partner and Owner Will Arvin. “We appreciate Castle & Key’s support of our racing program and are excited to build new experiences for our fans who enjoy great racing and a great cocktail.”

Castle & Key Gin became a beverage sponsor at Keeneland in 2019. For the upcoming Fall Meet, Keeneland fans will enjoy signature cocktails featuring Castle & Key’s Restoration Rye and Roots of Ruin Gin. Castle & Key will unveil its new bourbon in 2022.

Castle & Key is located at the Old Taylor Distillery, which was built in 1887 by Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. In 2014, the Castle & Key team began to restore the Old Taylor Distillery with the vision to bring the historic destination back to its former glory.

“The initial idea to start a distillery came to me while drinking a glass of bourbon with friends at the Keeneland race track,” Will Arvin said. “This partnership with Keeneland and opportunity for Castle & Key to be the official sponsor of the Bourbon Stakes takes on a new meaning knowing the vision was born here.”

The Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes celebrates its 31st running this fall, having first been held in 1991. Among the winners is Gio Ponti, who took the race in 2007 and earned three Eclipse Awards as champion in 2009 and 2010.

Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet will be held Oct. 8-30. The season marks Keeneland’s 85th anniversary.

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