Things You Need to Know Before Going to the Track

As you plan your trip to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby weekend, be sure to review the list of items that are permitted and those that cannot be brought into the racing facility.

Churchill Downs’ hospitality and security procedures for the Kentucky Oaks on the first Friday of every May and the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands on the first Saturday of May. The adjusted policies are listed below.

All patrons are subject to magnetic wand scans before entry to the track on both days. Oaks and Derby patrons are advised to arrive early to accommodate search procedures at all admission gates.

  • Admission gates (1, 3, 10 and 17) will be open on Kentucky Oaks Day and Kentucky Derby Day days at 8 a.m. (all eastern times).
  • First race (both days) is 10:30 a.m.
  • The Oaks race is race 12 and is at 5:57 p.m.
  • The Derby race is race 12 and is at 6:57 p.m.

Patrons are reminded: “If you see something, say something.” If you see something unusual, please immediately call 502-636-4526 to report it.2

Permitted Items on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days

  • Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18” x 18” – no trash bags)*
  • “Box” lunches in clear plastic bags or containers (max size 18×18”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 backs)
  • Strollers (ONLY if carrying a child)
  • Chairs (Gate 3 only)
  • Blankets & tarpaulins (Gates 1 and 3 ONLY)
  • *Limit of 2 bags per person **Patrons could be required to turn on electronic items

Banned Items on Kentucky Derby and Oaks

  • COOLERS (Styrofoam coolers, ice available at infield purchase points)
  • CANS (any size or type), glass bottles or containers
  • POP UP OR PATRON TENTS – no poles or stakes of any kind
  • Laptop computers and camcorders
  • Cameras with detachable lenses, or equipped with a lens 6” or longer
  • Tripods
  • Purses larger than 12” in any dimension
  • Grills
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Thermoses
  • Backpacks
  • Luggage (includes briefcases)
  • Duffel bags
  • Wagons
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons (including knives)
  • Fireworks, noisemakers, air horns, laser lights/pointers. mace or pepper sprays


Food, Drinks, and Alcohol Included with all Oaks and Derby Tickets.

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