University of Kentucky Wildcats fans are reaching a fevered pitch, and the April 9 John Calipari Maker’s Mark bottle signing at Keeneland is the hot ticket.

So hot that Keeneland has signed on with Ticketmaster to handle the lottery-type distribution of tickets.

Now, rather than a live lottery drawing prior to the bottle signing at the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center Keeneland is working with Ticketmaster to conduct an online distribution on April 3 beginning at 10 a.m. of 1,200 tickets allowing one ticket per customer. Fans should go to ticketmaster.com on April 3 (type “Keeneland” in the search box to find the direct link).

The Ticketmaster page will not be available until a few days before the sale. You will not be able to place your order until 10am on April 3rd, 2010.

The April 9 signing is limited to one 2010 commemorative bottle per person, with no other memorabilia or souvenir items allowed.

“Many events are now utilizing online ticketing distribution systems. We believe that utilizing such a system in this case will help us ensure a safe, convenient and more enjoyable process for all concerned”, said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson.

The face value of the ticket is free; however, there will be a $1 handling fee through Ticketmaster. Keeneland will, in turn, make a $1,200 contribution to Galilean Children’s Home in Liberty, Kentucky the charity of choice for this year’s Maker’s Mark Ambassadors.  Find out more about Galilean Children’s Home at galileanhome.org

Patrons can claim their tickets in person beginning Tuesday, April 6 at Keeneland’s drive thru wagering booths between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. In order to claim the ticket, fans must bring a copy of their online receipt as confirmation and a photo ID. Participants also may be able to pick up their tickets inside of Keeneland’s South Gate Thursday evening, April 8th, beginning at 6 p.m.

Ticket holders must be in line no later than 7:00 a.m. on Friday, April 9. The commemorative ticket will designate the specific place in line for each participant. The signing – with Coach Calipari, Nicholson and Bill Samuels of Maker’s Mark – will start at 8 a.m.

Keeneland also is allowing ticketholders to camp out overnight, if they desire, under the grandstand beginning Thursday evening, following that day’s races.

For more information, please visit keeneland.com

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