Security at the Kentucky Derby has been extremely strict the last four years, and this year is no exception. The only change this year is patrons can bring in seat cushions through all entrances. This is for cushions with no backs only, so no stadium seats.
If you are attending, read the list of allowed items below very carefully so you won't have anything confiscated. Some items are only allowed in the infield, such as blankets, and coolers, bottles, and backpacks are not allowed anywhere. There will once again be a "general store" set up in the infield near the tunnels from the grandstand to allow you to purchase food, drink, coolers, and other items that you can't bring in with you. Remember that no bottles includes sunscreen, so make sure you bring a tube or individual packets if you don't want to have to buy any.
Security will be very visible with personnel from many different law enforcement and government agencies working the event. Expect to have anything you bring in searched and to be wanded as you enter to prevent any weapons from being brought in.
Security procedures and policies for the 2006 Kentucky Derby and Oaks include:
Magnetic wand searches of patrons at all track entrance gates
Limits on carry-in items for patrons and employees
Visibility of security personnel in all areas of the track
Placement of barriers outside the track's admission gates
Security sweeps of vehicles (buses, limousines and vendor vehicles that enter the track)
Vehicles parked in all Churchill Downs lots are subject to search.
Items that may be carried by patrons through all admission gates at Churchill Downs unless otherwise noted include:
Food items in clear plastic bags, limit two per person (maximum size 18"x 18," no trash bags)
"Box" lunches if packaged in clear plastic bags or plastic containers, limit two per person (maximum size 18"x 18," no trash bags)
Cellular telephones, cameras, and camcorders
Small personal music systems, radios, and televisions, no "boom boxes"
Purses and baby bags (all subject to search)
Strollers (only if carrying a child--no other items allowed)
Seat cushions (no backs)
Chairs (Gate 3 only)
Blankets (Gates 1 and 3 for infield use only)
Tarpaulins (Gates 1 and 3 for infield use only)
Items that may not be carried into the track on Derby and Oaks Days include:
Weapons of any kind (including all knives and scissors)
Bottles and cans of any kind (includes all beverage and lotion containers--glass, plastic, or metal)
Backpacks, luggage and duffel bags
Triple Crown quick links:
Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - my list of the top horses headed to the Derby with profiles for each with photos, stats, and link to more info like past performances and pedigree.
Analyzing the top 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders - My annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year there were is a 3-way tie for the top spot: Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, and Overanalyze.
2013 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2013 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.