No Changes Planned in Derby/Oaks Security

(from Churchill Downs release)
Churchill Downs plans to make no changes to the security policies and procedures used in the past three years for the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks (both gr. I), the first renewals of those events since the completion of the track's $121 million renovation.

Churchill Downs decided against any changes after consulting with federal, state and local law enforcement and government agencies. Those attending the track's two marquee events should expect magnetic wand searches at all track entrances; limits on the types of items that patrons may carry into the track that again include a ban on coolers of any type; and the visibility of uniformed security personnel in all areas of the track.

Hospitality and guest service efforts for the track's biggest days will again include the location of a "general store" in the infield. Levy Restaurants, Churchill Downs' food service provider, will operate the store, which will be located near the tunnels that allow access from the clubhouse to the infield. It will offer food, drink, coolers and other items that may not be brought into the track.

Churchill Downs will again station customer service and hospitality representatives at locations throughout the track to respond to any questions.

"Kentucky Derby and Oaks fans have adjusted very well to our enhanced hospitality and security policies since their implementation in 2002 and our government and law enforcement partners at all levels have recommended that there be no change in those measures for this year's events," said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs. "Those hospitality and security procedures have been well received by our patrons and many have told us that they actually improved their experience at the Derby and Oaks. We have an exciting – and much larger – new facility for our patrons this year, and our security measures and staffing have been adjusted to adapt to the larger structure.

"As in previous years, there is no indication of any specific threat to our track or these events, but it is important these precautionary measures and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all our of patrons on these special days."

A total of 35 local, state and federal law enforcement and government agencies will be involved in the security effort at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days. Agencies involved in the development of security policies include the Louisville Metro Police Department, Louisville Fire & Rescue, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, Metro Louisville Corrections, Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky National Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service.