Variety of Merchandise Features Oil Paintings of Oaks and Derby Spirit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, April 2, 2019) – Churchill Downs today released the 2019 “Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” by Owensboro, Kentucky artist Rhonda McEnroe. McEnroe is the third consecutive Kentucky artist to create the official art that reflects the spirit of each the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and the Longines Kentucky Oaks. McEnroe is the 22nd artist commissioned to create the Derby’s officially licensed artwork since the tradition began in 1997.

McEnroe’s “Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” will be featured on various 2019 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks merchandise, including posters, tickets, t-shirts, post cards and souvenir racing programs. The merchandise is available now at select retail outlets, including the Kentucky Derby Museum and

“For the third year in a row, we’ve tapped a talented Kentucky artist to capture the excitement of Oaks and Derby,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “McEnroe’s oil paintings bring a local and regional perspective to one of the world’s most famous horse races and entertainment events.”

McEnroe is a prolific and self-taught artist. Her work focuses on oils in a realistic approach, relaxed with impressionistic and abstract techniques. Her use of color and light reflects her positive attitude about life. Ms. McEnroe has been commissioned for portraits of people, homes and pets. Samples of her past work vary from the norm to bolder, large-scale projects.

“I am honored to be selected as the official artist for 2019’s Kentucky Derby’s For The Roses,” said McEnroe.   “In composing Hats, Horses and More Hats for the Oaks,  I wanted to illustrate the cheerful atmosphere as the wind whips through the crowd, and the excitement and spirit of the day at the Oaks with the warmth of the sunshine and the smiles of the people holding winning tickets.”

McEnroe’s work is part of corporate and private collections throughout Kentucky and the U.S. Her paintings have also been exhibited across Italy and she is the winner of The China Trophy in Milano, Italy.  Educated at Kentucky Wesleyan College and Brescia College in Owensboro, McEnroe is member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftmen in Berea, Kentucky and the Kentucky Watercolor Society. A vital part of Owensbroro's art community, Rhonda chairs the Sister Cities Youth Art Competition and is a founding partner of Gallery 412.

McEnroe enjoys inspiring and supporting the artistic gift in others and teaches private and group classes in oil and watercolor, offering demonstrations and workshops upon request.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented the Kentucky Derby since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 4, 2019. The track’s 2019 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 29. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships nine times.

About the Kentucky Derby

The $3 million Kentucky Derby takes place 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-olds is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing's challenging Triple Crown series. Also known as the "The Run for the Roses," "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" and "America's Race," the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horserace in the nation, with nearly 160,000 attendees.