Enhanced security procedures will be implemented for this year's Kentucky Derby and Oaks, which will take place on May 4 and 3, respectively.
Churchill Downs, home to the Run for the Roses, will upgrade both security and hospitality policies for both the 139th Kentucky Derby and Oaks, with expanded screenings in place for patrons, employees and vendors entering the historic track.
"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. "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 track is prohibiting more items from being brought into the facility. The expanded list includes coolers, camcorders, tripods and video equipment; cameras with detachable lenses, cameras equipped with lenses more than six inches in length, and tripods of any kind; cans of any kind and size; fireworks, laser lights and pointers and mace/pepper spray and noisemakers and air horns.
Purses must be 12 inches or less in any dimension.
"While large numbers of our Churchill Downs team and our law enforcement and public safety partners will be working around and throughout our grounds, fans can play a role in ensuring that the Kentucky Derby and Oaks are enjoyable and safe events," Flanery said. "If any patron sees an activity or behavior that seems unusual or suspicious, we hope they will report it to members of our guest service and security teams and allow us to check it out. We want fans to have a wonderful and unforgettable Oaks and Derby Days, but we hope they will remember these words: 'If you see something, say something.'"
Patrons will be subject to an electronic wand search upon admission, as will track employees, vendors and members of the media.