Ky. Derby comes to life in mural on second floor of Churchill Do - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. Derby comes to life in mural on second floor of Churchill Downs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's the one place at Churchill Downs where you can see every history-making "Derby Hall of Famer" in one spot, the second floor mural. 

"People have heard about it or hear about it and want to see it," Chris Goodlett from the Kentucky Derby Museum said.

You may have passed it on the way to grab a beer or place a bet, but next time you might want to take a closer look.

"You can look at it 100 different times, and each time find something new that you didn't see before," said racing fan Rick Brainer. 

Every jockey from Isaac Murphy to Eddie Arcaro and Bill Shoemaker are represented on one side of the grandstands. The bigger the caricature, the more times they've taken home the Garland of Roses.

On the other side, you'll find the trainers that got those jockeys to the winner's circle. The man behind the colorful, vibrant, and sometimes even funny look at Derby's best is a French thoroughbred racing cartoonist named Pierre Bellocq. His friends call him "Peb."

"He's been doing this kind of art for many years, since the 1950s," explained Goodlett.

"Peb" and all his paintbrushes make their way to Churchill days after the first Saturday in May.

"After the race is completed, he'll come back every year, and he'll paint the winning jockey," Goodlett told WDRB.

Bellocq started in 2004 for the reopening of Churchill in '05, and has been coming back ever since. He has to -- the fans love it.

The only problem is there's not much room left on either side of the mural to continue.

"Well I think that's one of those old adages: we'll worry about that when we get to it," said Goodlett.

With Peb's kind of creativity, he'll find a way.

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