04/30/2013 12:32PM

Pimlico introduces tighter security for Preakness Day

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Pimlico Race Course will ban duffel bags, backpacks, and all but a specific size of clear-plastic coolers for this year’s Preakness Stakes on May 18 under a new set of policies similar to those adopted by Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby this year.

The bans on the items were recommended by law-enforcement officials following a review of the track’s policies in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April, Pimlico officials said. Law-enforcement officials have recommended stricter carry-in policies for all large events since the bombings.

Also under the new policy, infield attendees will be barred from bringing in beverages of any kind, Pimlico officials said. For the past several years, infield attendees have been barred from bringing in beer and alcohol, but not other drinks, as long as they were in clear plastic bottles or regular cans. Infield attendees also will be barred from bringing in backpacks for the first time. A backpack ban has been in place for the grandstand for the past several years.

Also on the banned list for this year: cameras with lenses longer than six inches, cameras with detachable lenses, and laser lights or pointers.

Last year, attendance at the Preakness was reported to be 121,309, a record. The event typically draws at least 100,000 to the track, the vast majority to its infield.

Meghan Janusz More than 1 year ago
Please tell me I'm not the only one wondering at the madness that is these racetracks banning cameras with detachable lenses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I assume small explosives can be stored in the lenses. I'm sure the intelligence has found this to be an issue.
P More than 1 year ago
Explosives in a 35mm? Well no airline, the TSA or FAA bans cameras with detachable lenses from going on to a flight. It utterly makes zero sense to assume a policy like this on cameras. The duffel bags and all that - no problem.