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Derby 143: Box lunch, Yes | Hoverboard, No

Churchill Downs reminds race fans to check “Do’s and Don’ts” list for Oaks and Derby

Restrictions unchanged from last year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, May 2, 2017)–The rosters of permitted items and those banned for carry-in by patrons at Churchill Downs Racetrack for this year’s renewals of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 5, and the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 6, will be familiar to fans of those spectacular days of racing and entertainment. But patrons among the nearly 300,000 fans expected to visit the track over those days are encouraged to review and acquaint themselves with lists of Derby and Oaks’ “Do’s and Don’ts” prior to arriving at the track.

Churchill Downs and its Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks security partners made no adjustments to this year’s lists of items permitted and prohibited at the track’s admission gates. The most recent change to either list was last year’s addition of hoverboards to the list of items banned for carry-in to Churchill Downs on those days.

The roster of items prohibited from the historic Louisville, Ky., track on its biggest days continues to include a ban on carry-in coolers at admission gates 1 (Central Ave. grandstand and infield tunnel), 3 (infield), 5 (stable), 10 (Longfield Ave. parking lot), and 17 (Clubhouse off Central Ave). Other prohibited items include cans and glass bottles, alcoholic beverages, laptop computers and camcorders, pop-up or patron tents, cameras with detachable lenses, tripods, selfie sticks, grills, backpacks, luggage, thermoses, umbrellas, weapons, fireworks, and umbrellas.

The list of items permitted for carry-in on Derby and Oaks is again headed by food items packaged in clear plastic bags (maximum size of 18”x18”), box lunches in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18”x18”) or containers, small cameras with attached lenses, purses (but none larger than 12” in any dimension, all subject to search), water and soft drinks (only in clear plastic containers and unopened), sunscreen in non-glass containers, binoculars, baby/diaper bags (if accompanied by child, subject to search), strollers (if accompanied by child), and electronic items that include cellular phones, smartphones, tablets, small personal music systems, radios, and small televisions.

Permitted Items on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days
  • Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18” X 18”—no trash bags)*
  • “Box” lunches in clear plastic bags or containers (maximum size 18″ X 18″—no trash bags)
  • Water and soft drinks–plastic bottles only (sealed, clear, and unopened)
  • Purses, but none larger than 12” in any dimension (subject to search)
  • Baby/diaper bags–only if accompanied by a child (subject to search)
  • Small cameras–none equipped with detachable lenses or lenses of 6” or more **
  • Binoculars
  • Sunscreen (non-glass containers only)
  • Small personal music systems, radios, and televisions** (No boom boxes)
  • Cellular phones, smartphones, and tablets**
  • Seat cushions smaller than 15″X15″ that do not contain metal arms and/or backs, zippers, pockets, or flaps
  • Strollers (ONLY if carrying a child)
  • Chairs (Gate 3 ONLY)
  • Blankets & tarpaulins (Gates 1 & 3 ONLY)

* Limit of two bags per person
** Patrons could be required to turn on electronic items

Banned Items on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days
  • Coolers (Styrofoam coolers, ice available at infield purchase points)
  • Cans (any size or type), glass bottles or containers
  • Pop-up or patron tents–no poles or stakes of any kind
  • Laptop computers and camcorders
  • Cameras with detachable lenses, or equipped with a lens that is 6” or larger
  • Tripods
  • Selfie sticks
  • Purses larger than 12″ in any dimension
  • Grills
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Illegal substances
  • Thermoses
  • Backpacks
  • Luggage (includes briefcases)
  • Duffle bags
  • Wagons
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons (including knives)
  • Fireworks, noisemakers, air horns, laser lights/pointers, mace, or pepper sprays
  • Drones and remote controlled aircraft
  • Hoverboards
  • Animals (with the exception of service animals for guests with disabilities)
  • Any items deemed dangerous and/or inappropriate

Patrons are reminded that Churchill Downs will not permit re-entry by ticketed patrons who leave the track during the Kentucky Oaks and Derby racing programs. The policy grew out of security concerns regarding wait times at track admission gates, along with increasing incidents involving the sales of counterfeit tickets and wristbands and previously scanned tickets outside the admission gates. Derby and Oaks patrons should be forewarned that no valid tickets will be available for purchase outside the track on those days.

Churchill Downs’ security policies and procedures were significantly strengthened by the track and its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for the 2002 renewals of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, the first in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Periodic changes and adjustments to the policies were made in subsequent years, including a significant strengthening of procedures following the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks that occurred just weeks before that year’s Derby and Oaks.

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