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Churchill releases 2014 Derby, Oaks logos

The official event logos for Kentucky Derby 140 and Kentucky Oaks 140 were released Friday by Churchill Downs, and officially licensed apparel featuring the new marks are now available for purchase online at KentuckyDerbyStore.com.

Both logos were designed by SME for the sixth consecutive year. For this special anniversary year, SME took inspiration from the faceted, brilliant nature of jewels and gemstones to treat the "140" year. The treatment also references the decorative styling of jockey silks, enabling SME to deliver an identity that pays homage to both the traditions and pedigree of these iconic brands.

Maintaining the unique color palettes of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, as well as the evergreen brand marks of the rose and stargazer lily, allows both events to promote and differentiate their distinct identities.

"The 140th runnings of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks present a return to the traditions that make these events such a treasured part of our national pastimes," said Edward O'Hara, chief creative officer and senior partner of New York-based SME. "Classic retaining shapes and flowing banners of red and pink pay homage to the timeless and almost patriotic nature of these beloved races."

The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 140 marks will be applied across a variety of merchandise and licensing opportunities. The 2014 merchandise mix at KentuckyDerbyStore.com will feature event and lifestyle apparel for men, women, children and pets. Other collectables, additional apparel and gift items, including the popular collectable Kentucky Derby mint julep glassware, are scheduled for release later this fall prior to the holiday season.

Official Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby merchandise is on sale at the Churchill Downs Store and the Kentucky Derby Museum Gift Shop. Merchandise is also available at the Churchill Downs Store located inside the Louisville International Airport, and other select retail locations.

The $2 million Kentucky Derby is annually staged on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 1/4-mile race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds is the oldest continuously held sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing's challenging Triple Crown series.

The Kentucky Derby is often called "The Run for the Roses," "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" and "America's Race," and typically attracts a crowd in excess of 150,000. In 2012, an unprecedented 165,307 were in attendance. A crowd of 151,616 endured inclement weather this year.

In recent decades, the day prior to the Kentucky Derby, known as Oaks Day, has grown to become the third largest attended horse race in America. The 2012 crowd was 113,820, which marked the 13th time in the last 14 years that attendance has topped 100,000.

The highlight of the day is the Derby's sister race, the $1 million Kentucky Oaks at 1 1/8 miles, which is the nation's premier race for three-year-old fillies. Its focus on fashion and celebrities rivals Derby Day and features a "Ladies First" theme. All patrons are encouraged participate in the traditional "Pink Out" and incorporate pink into their wardrobe.

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