Churchill Downs has announced that it will continue the enhanced hospitality and security procedures adopted for the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks for this year's running of the "Run for the Roses" and its sister race.
The security procedures for the May 3 Kentucky Derby and May 2 Kentucky Oaks will again include magnetic wand searches of all persons entering track; limits on the types of items that may be carried into the track by patrons; and continued high visibility of uniformed security personnel.
Churchill Downs enhanced its hospitality and customer service efforts during last year's Derby and Oaks and those programs will be in place again this year. Among those programs is the return of a general store-type facility in the infield in which patrons may purchase items that cannot be carried into the track. A single infield store located near the grandstand tunnel will be operated by Levy Restaurants and it will offer food, beverage, coolers, ice and other items at prices comparable to those offered at stores outside the track. Churchill Downs will again employ increased numbers of customer service representatives to deal with concerns voiced by patrons.
"In making our decision we relied on recommendations made by the law enforcement agencies who work with us each year to ensure the safety and comfort of all of our patrons, participants and employees, " said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs. "The good news is that these procedures worked well and many patrons told us their Derby and Oaks experience was actually enhanced by the changes."
Last year's Kentucky Derby attracted a crowd of 145,033 -- down from the 2001 attendance of 154,210, which was the second-largest attendance in history. Attendance at the 2002 Kentucky Oaks totaled 101,932, a figure that was down from the 102,904 recorded a year earlier.
Security procedures established for Kentucky Derby and Oaks 129 include: Magnetic wand searches of all patrons at all track entrance gates
Limits on items on carry-in items for patrons and employees
High visibility and numbers of security personnel in all areas of the track
Placement of barriers outside the track's admission gates
Security sweeps of all vehicles (buses, limousines, and vendor vehicles) that enter the track
Vehicles parked in all Churchill Downs lots will be subject to search.Items that patrons may carry-in to Churchill Downs on those days are: o Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18"x18" - no trash bags) -- limit two per person
o Box" lunches if packaged in clear plastic bags or plastic containers (maximum size 18"x 18" - no trash bags) -- limit two person
o Cellular telephones, cameras, and camcorders (patrons required to turn electronic items on before entry is allowed)
o Small personal music systems, radios and televisions -- no "boom boxes"
o Purses and baby bags (all subject to search)
o Chairs (Gate 3 only)
o Blankets (Gates 1 & 3 for infield use only)
o Tarpaulins (Gates 1 & 3 for infield use only)
o Strollers (only if carrying a child - no other items allowed)Items that are banned from the track on Derby and Oaks Days include:o Weapons of any kind (includes all knives and scissors)
o Bottles and cans of any kind (includes all beverage and lotion containers -- glass, plastic or metal)
o Backpacks, luggage and duffel bags
o UmbrellasChurchill Downs employees will be the subject of one major change in the track's Derby and Oaks security procedures as all full-time and seasonalemployees will be required to undergo background checks.Law enforcement agencies including the Louisville Metro Police Department, Louisville Fire & Rescue, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, Jefferson County Corrections, Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky National Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service worked with Churchill Downs officials in the development of the security policies forthis year's Kentucky Derby and Oaks.