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    With the Kentucky Derby just a few days away, many people are finalizing plans to attend the event. Whether you’ll be high-rolling in the suites or living it up in the infield, you’ll need to know what you can and can’t bring to the track.

    Patrons should be aware that they will be subject to a magnetic wand scan prior to entering Churchill Downs and should allow extra time to get through security.  The first post for both Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby is 10:30 a.m. Gates open at 8:00 a.m.  

    Churchill Downs has retained the same list of banned items and restrictions as those put in place last year and encourages patrons to follow this motto: “If you see something, say something.” Churchill Downs security can be reached at 502-636-4526. A statement earlier released by Churchill Downs includes what can and cannot be brought through the gates.


    • 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 (without back)
    • 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


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    Jessie Oswald's picture

    About Jessie Oswald

    I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as a paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!

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