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Read This Before You Head to the Track!

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

All patrons are subject to metal detector scans before entry to the track on all of Derby Week (Opening Night- Derby Day). Oaks and Derby patrons are advised to arrive early to accommodate search procedures at all admission gates. Admission gates (Paddock, Clubhouse & Infield) will be open on Oaks & Derby days at 8 a.m. (all times Eastern). First post is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on both days. Click Here to view gates open information for Derby Week.

Items determined not to be appropriate for entry will be the responsibility of the ticketholder and cannot be accepted or checked by Churchill Downs. We urge patrons to secure these items in their vehicles or discard them. There is no re-entry after exiting the facility; patrons are not permitted to leave Churchill Downs and return on the same ticket. 

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

See below for Oaks & Derby prohibited items and Click Here for prohibited items for Opening Night through Thurby and all other race days This list is subject to change & any item deemed inappropriate or unsafe may be denied entry at any time.  PLEASE NOTE: Food & Beverage is not permitted outside of Oaks & Derby days. 

Prohibited Items on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Animals (with the exception of service animals for guests with disabilities)
  • Backpacks 
  • Balloons
  • Cans (any size or type), glass bottles or containers
  • Cameras with detachable lenses, or equipped with a lens that is 6” or larger
  • Coolers (Styrofoam coolers, ice available at infield purchase points)
  • Drones and remote controlled aircraft
  • Duffel bags
  • Fireworks, noisemakers, air horns, laser lights/pointers, mace or pepper sprays
  • Grills
  • Illegal Substances
  • Laptop Computers and Camcorders
  • Luggage (includes briefcases)
  • Personal transportation devices (e.g.Hoverboards)
  • Bags larger than 12" in any dimension
  • Pop-Up or Patron Tents– no poles or stakes of any kind
  • Tripods
  • Selfie Sticks
  • Thermoses
  • Umbrellas 
  • Wagons
  • Weapons (including knives, cutting devices and cigar cutters)
  • Any items deemed dangerous and/or inappropriate
Allowed Items on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days
  • Baby/diaper bags – only if accompanied by a child (subject to search)
  • Binoculars
  • Blankets & tarpaulins (Infield and Paddock Gates ONLY)
  • "Box" lunches in clear plastic bags or containers (maximum size 18" X 18" - no trash bags)
  • Cellular phones, smartphones and tablets**
  • Chairs (Infield Gate ONLY)
  • Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18” X 18” - no trash bags)*
  • Purses, but none larger than 12” in any dimension (subject to search)
  • Seat cushions smaller than 15"X 15" that do not contain metal arms and/or backs, zippers, pockets or flaps
  • Small cameras – none equipped with detachable lenses or lenses of 6” or more **
  • Small personal music systems, radios and televisions** (No boom boxes)
  • Strollers (ONLY if carrying a child)
  • Sunscreen (non-glass containers only)
  • Water and soft drinks – plastic bottles only (sealed, clear and unopened)

* Limit of two bags per person
** Patrons could be required to turn on electronic items


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