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Ray Lewis Sued Botched Bourbon Deal ... w/ Famous Racehorse

11/22/2017 12:30 AM PST

Ray Lewis Sued Over Botched Bourbon Deal with Famous Racehorse

EXCLUSIVE

The bourbon company bearing Ray Lewis' name is accused of putting the "stiff" in stiff drink -- allegedly bailing on a $50k sponsorship deal involving one of the most famous racehorses alive. 

The ex-NFL star is being sued -- along with the folks behind Ray's Reserve bourbon -- by Leverage Agency, which sells sponsorships at sports events. 

Long story short, the company behind Ray's Reserve allegedly agreed to pay $50k to sponsor California Chrome at the 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Race in Florida back in January. 

The deal was that RR would pay $25k in cash and $25k in Ray's Reserve bourbon -- 100 bottles at $250 apiece. 

FYI, California Chrome is a legend -- he won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and the 2014 Preakness. 

When race day came, California Chrome's famed jockey Victor Espinoza rocked pants with the Ray's Reserve logo on them ... as part of the deal.

But when Legacy sent the bill to the Ray's Reserve people, the company claims they never got the cash or the bourbon -- and now they're suing for the money. 

Ray's attorney tells TMZ Sports ... Ray had no involvement in the deal and has no ownership in the Ray's Reserve brand. He licensed his name for the product and nothing more. 

"There's no justification for Ray to be named personally in the lawsuit."

By the way, California Chrome finished 9th in that race and retired after the event. He's now working as a stud ... knocking up female horses for $40,000-a-pop. 

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