Churchill Downs Racetrack has released its list of security and hospitality policies and procedures for this year's 140th celebrations of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 3, and the Longines Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 2.
The list mirrors the revised list of policies and procedures from last year that was issued following the attack on the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. As it retains last year's adjusted roster of security and hospitality policies, Churchill Downs officials are again asking Derby and Oaks patrons to be aware during their visits on both days and to heed a simple, but important, reminder: "If you see something, say something."
Most prominent among the policies for this year's Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks are:
- A ban on carry-in coolers. Patrons will not be allowed bring their own coolers; however, coolers and ice will be available at several infield purchase points;
- Purses or bags measuring more than 12 inches in any dimension will not be allowed through any admission gate;
- Cans of any size or type and glass bottles and containers will not be permitted;
- Patron and pop-up tents are prohibited. Poles and stakes of any kind are not permitted.
- A ban on laptop computers, cameras with detachable lenses, cameras with attached lenses measuring six inches or more, camcorders and tripods;
Most of the remaining security procedures on Churchill Downs' 2014 list have been in place since sweeping changes to those policies were formulated by the track and its security and safety partners and adopted for the 2002 Kentucky Derby.
Among the items permitted for carry-in on both days are:
- Food items and box lunches contained in clear plastic bags or clear plastic containers measuring no larger than 18" x 18";
- Water and soft drinks in plastic bottles that are sealed and unopened;
- Sunscreen (in non-glass containers only);
- Purses measuring less than 12" in any dimension, and baby and diaper bags, if accompanied by a child.
- Cellular phones, smartphones and tablets (patrons could be required to turn on electronic items before being allowed to enter the track);
- Small cameras with non-detachable lenses no longer than six inches.
"Our sincere hope is that every fan who visits Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks has an amazing experience," said Ryan Jordan, General Manager of Churchill Downs. "Our fans have told us that they feel safe when they visit our racetrack. We are thankful for the tireless efforts of nearly 40 law enforcement, security and safety agencies who work together with Churchill Downs team members each year on security and safety policies for these great events.
"In addition to maintaining tightened security policies, we are again asking that our patrons be aware of their surroundings and to say something to a uniformed security officer or a member of our Churchill Downs staff if they see something that seems out of the ordinary. 'If you see something, say something' is an important thought for all to remember."
As has been the case since 2002, when security procedures were completely overhauled following the 9/11 terrorist attacks the previous autumn, all patrons entering the track on those days are subject to electronic wand scans.
A complete checklist of what items are allowed and not allowed on Oaks and Derby day is available here.
Triple Crown quick links:
- Kentucky Derby Central - a guide to all things Derby
- Derby Points List - This is what determines who can get into the Kentucky Derby as only the top 20 horses from this list who enter get to start. Updated weekly.
- Road to the Derby - all the point earning prep races with results
- Derby Weather - several forecasts for Louisville.
- 2014 Triple Crown Nominations - 414 horses were nominated in the early period which closed in January
- Late Triple Crown Nominees - 10 more horses nominated in March for a $6000 fee were announced on April 1st headed by Spiral Stakes runner-up Harry's Holiday.
- 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager - This year there were 4 pools starting in November of 2013 plus a single pool for the Oaks. Surprisingly, thie field of all other 3-year-olds was the favorite in all 4 pools.
- 2013 Experimental Free Handicap - ranks the top 2-year-olds of 2013 and determines the Dual Qualifiers for the Derby
- Review: Betting the Kentucky Derby - How to Wager and Win on America's Biggest Horse Race by Dean Keppler
- Kentucky Derby 101 - An overview of the Kentucky Derby from history to handicapping to how to attend. Perfect for beginners.
- Kentucky Derby Winners - all the winners with their connections and other info
- Kentucky Derby Traditions - There are many traditions associated with the Kentucky Derby from the garland of roses to mint juleps. Find out more here.
- Fillies in the Kentucky Derby - information about the fillies who have run in the Kentucky Derby
- More Derby info - lots more stats and other info about the Derby
- Official Kentucky Derby site from Churchill Downs
- Louisville Courier Journal coverage - one of your best news sources for the Derby
- Lexington Herald-Leader - another good source for Kentucky racing news
- Blood Horse Triple Crown Mania
- DRF Kentucky Derby Special
- Triple Crown Index - the master list with even more info