Churchill Downs is revising the items people can bring into the racetrack during the Kentucky Derby and Oaks because of security concerns raised from Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Added to the list of banned items are coolers, fireworks, noisemakers, laser lights/pointers, mace/pepper spray and purses larger than a foot in any dimension. You’ll be able to buy a Styrofoam cooler and ice at the track at “comparable” prices to retailers, Churchill Downs says.
Churchill Downs issued a list of permissible items on April 12, but revised it after consulting with federal, state and local authorities that work each year during the Derby and Oaks.
Here’s a full list of banned items from Churchill Downs: (All caps means it’s a change.)
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.
And here’s a list of permitted items:
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).
Churchill Downs is also asking Derby- and/or Oaks-goers to report any “activity that might be unusual or suspicious” to racetrack personnel or security.
The call echoes what Louisville Metro Police are asking of attendees to Saturday’s Thunder Over Louisville.
People who enter the racetrack for the Derby or Oaks will also be subject to an electronic want search at the admission gates.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, racetrack president Kevin Flanery said:
“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. “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.”
The Kentucky Derby is May 4.