In light of recent events, Churchill Downs will tighen security and expand screenings for patrons, employees and vendors who enter the track for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs officials are asking fans to be aware of their surroundings at and around the track. Should any patron see an activity that might be unusual or suspicious, he or she is urged to notify a member of the race track team or security personnel working in and around the track.
Derby and Oaks fans are urged to keep a simple phrase in mind: “See Something, Say Something.”
Following consultation with many of the federal, state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies that work annually with Churchill Downs, track officials have released a revised list of Derby and Oaks “Dos and Don’ts” – items permitted for patron carry-in to the track on those days -- and items that are banned.
The track issued its 2013 policies and procedures April 12 -- adding tents, poles and stakes to banned items -- but a further review of those practices followed Monday’s bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon.
Additions to the list of items banned for carry-in to Churchill Downs in the revised Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks security and hospitality polices include:
Coolers – Removed from the list of banned items in 2009, coolers will no longer be permitted for carry-in to the infield. Styrofoam coolers and ice will be available at infield purchase points;
Camcorders, tripods and video equipment;
Cameras with detachable lenses, cameras equipped with lenses more than six inches in length, and tripods of any kind.
Purses greater than 12 inches in any dimension;
Cans of any kind and size;
Laser lights and pointers
Noisemakers and air horns
See below for a complete list of banned items.
Additionally, all patrons who enter Churchill Downs on those days will be subject to an electronic wand search at admission gates (1, 3, 10 and 17) and employee, vendor and media entrances. All items carried into the track by persons passing through those gates are subject to search by officers from Churchill Downs security and its law enforcement partners. Searches could occur outside or inside the track’s admission gates. Prohibited items removed during the admissions process will not be held for retrieval at the conclusion of those racing programs.
“Churchill Downs relies strongly on the experience and expertise of our law enforcement and public safety partners, and they endorsed these changes in our Kentucky Derby and Oaks security procedures,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Our reassessment of security procedures was prompted by Monday’s tragedy in Boston, and it has led to a strengthening of safety practices that we hope will ease any concerns Derby and Oaks fans might have following this week’s events."
As they have since 2002, Churchill Downs officials urge patrons to arrive early on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Days to accommodate search procedures. Admission gates will open at 8 a.m. (all times Eastern) on both days, with post time for each day’s first race scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Remember, if you see something, say something.
The list of items that will not be permitted for carry-in on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Day includes (with changes and adjustments in 2013 in ALL CAPS):
COOLERS (Styrofoam coolers and ice available at infield purchase points at prices comparable to those at off-track retailers);
CANS, glass bottles or containers;
CAMERAS WITH DETACHABLE LENSES
CAMERAS WITH LENSES MORE THAN SIX INCHES IN LENGTH;
PURSES LARGER THAN 12 INCHES IN ANY DIMENSION;
Pop up and patron tents, no poles or stakes of any kind;
Luggage (includes briefcases);
Weapons (including knives).
NOISEMAKERS AND AIR HORNS;
LASER LIGHTS AND POINTERS;
MACE, PEPPER SPRAY OR OTHER PERSONAL DEFENSE SPRAYS.
Items permitted for carry-in by patrons on Oaks and Derby Days include (with changes and adjustments from 2012 in ALL CAPS):
Purses, but NONE LARGER THAN 12 INCHES IN ANY DIMENSION (all subject to search);
Baby/diaper bags – ONLY IF ACCOMPANIED BY A CHILD (all subject to search);
SMALL CAMERAS, BUT NONE EQUIPPED WITH DETACHABLE LENSES OR LENSES MORE THAN 6 INCHES;
Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18” X 18” - no trash bags – limit of two bags per person);
“Box” lunches in clear plastic bags or containers (maximum size 18” X 18” - no trash bags);
Sunscreen (non-glass containers only);
Small personal music systems, radios and televisions (no boomboxes)
Cellular telephones, smartphones and tablets (patrons could be required to turn devices on);
Seat cushions (without back);
Strollers (ONLY if carrying a child);
Chairs (Gate 3 ONLY);
Blankets & Tarpaulins (Gates 1 & 3 ONLY).