Summer-Like Weather Expected for Oaks, Derby

Those sunburned bodies crowding the infield at Churchill Downs might not be so red this year.

With highs expected in the upper 70s and low 80s this weekend in Louisville along with a high ultraviolet index, the track announced Monday that it is relaxing its security measures to allow patrons for the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), to bring in sunscreen.

Visitors have not been allowed to bring sunscreen into the racetrack in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks due to the enhanced security measures taken in consultation with law enforcement officials. Churchill Downs made sunscreen available for purchase at gifts shops and other points of sale around the track.

According to weather.com, the high for Friday, Oaks day, is expected to reach 79 with a few showers possible. Saturday's Derby day forecast has a high of 82 with a stray thunderstorm possible.

“Given the summer-like forecast for Kentucky Derby weekend, we appreciate local law enforcement’s flexibility this year in allowing our guests to bring sunscreen into Churchill Downs,” said Jim Gates, Churchill's general manager. “While the restriction on sunscreen was put in place to help move our patrons through security checkpoints with minimal delay, we think under the circumstances it’s wise to relax the restriction on sunscreen this year to help ensure our guests’ comfort and safety on what could be two very warm days.”

The revision in policy was taken in conjunction with the Louisville Metro Police Department.

For a complete list of items that can be brought into Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days, as well as the list of prohibited items, visit the “Track News” section of the Churchill Downs Web site, www.churchilldowns.com.

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