With the 2009 “Run for the Roses” only six months away, Churchill Downs today unveiled the official logos for Kentucky Derby 135 and its companion event, Kentucky Oaks 135, as fans at the historic racetrack enjoyed the “Stars of Tomorrow I” racing program, featuring 11 races for 2-year-old Thoroughbreds that could shortly be on the 2009 Kentucky Derby and Oaks trails.  The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 event logos will adorn all officially licensed merchandise, including apparel, gift items and tickets.

The new Kentucky Derby 135 mark features two sides of a sleek, golden horseshoe joined at the bottom by a stylized red rose.  In the center of the horseshoe are the words “Kentucky Derby” in gold and black font and the number “135” to designate the event’s 135th renewal. The words “Churchill Downs” and the date “May 2, 2009,” appear beneath the horseshoe.

A slender golden horseshoe also tops the official Kentucky Oaks 135 logo, while a vibrant pink stargazer lily pops out from the horseshoe’s center.  Emblazoned in bright pink and gold text beneath the primary artwork are the words “Kentucky Oaks 135” and “Churchill Downs – May 1, 2009.”  The Kentucky Oaks is traditionally held one day before the Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs also introduced non-dated versions of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks logos that are similar in color and design to the dated versions for the 2009 events.  Both non-dated marks feature a golden horseshoe with the signature flowers associated with each event, a red rose for the Kentucky Derby and a pink stargazer lily for the Kentucky Oaks, emerging from their respective centers.  Churchill Downs will use the non-dated marks for a variety of applications, including its line of officially licensed merchandise and other product offerings currently in development.

Churchill Downs partnered with SME Branding, a world leader in branding and design based in New York City, on the new Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks logos and brand standards. SME’s impressive client list includes some of the biggest names in sports, higher education and corporate America. The firm has recently launched successful branding campaigns for Dolphins Stadium and the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, L.A. Galaxy professional soccer team, Ladies Professional Golf Association, Houston Texans professional football team and the United States Olympic Committee. SME also designed and launched branding campaigns for the Louisville-based Blue Equity Sports Television (BEST) and University of Louisville.  Additional information about SME Branding can be found online at www.smebranding.com.

“The new Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks logos provide a fresh and updated graphic look for our more than century-old events and introduce artistic elements and color palettes unique to both the Derby and Oaks brands that will be incorporated into future logos to create a sense of continuity from year to year,” said Julie Koenig Loignon, vice president of Churchill Downs’ Entertainment Business Unit.  “In addition to the logos that will be directly associated with the 135th editions of the Kentucky Derby and its sister race, we also chose to create non-dated, iconic marks that would represent the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks brands on a year-round basis.

“Because we plan to incorporate our iconic Derby and Oaks marks into future event logos, we wanted designs that were very simple in composition with clean lines and distinct colors that are clearly linked to established Derby and Oaks traditions. Our partners at SME Branding did a masterful job of combining design elements that promote what’s at the core of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks brands – premium horse racing – that can be used for a variety of applications as we grow our brands and our entertainment offerings throughout Kentucky Derby week the rest of the year.”

Media outlets may acquire high-resolution copies of the Kentucky Derby 135 and Kentucky Oaks 135 logos, as well as the new non-dated Derby and Oaks marks, by logging on to www.cdilogos.com and submitting an online request form.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875.  Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track’s 2008 Fall Meet runs from Oct. 26 through Nov. 29. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010.  Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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