The Maryland Jockey Club announced today that it was revising its Preakness security procedures, as well as those for Black-Eyed Susan day.
The revised procedures were devised in consultation with law enforcement and public safety officials.
“Each year, we spend considerable time working with federal, state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies to ensure the safety of all our fans, which remains our number one priority. Collectively, we feel these changes will address concerns fans may have following the Boston tragedies,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas in a statement. “We ask that everyone please read carefully our security procedures and policies, so that guests may enjoy Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness days in a safe and secure manner with a minimum of inconvenience.”
The changes from prior years include:
- No duffle bags or backpacks permitted in either the building or the infield;
- No laser lights or pointers;
- No cameras with detachable lenses or with lenses longer than six inches.
Within the facility, patrons may bring coolers — as long as they are no larger than 18 inches by 18 inches and are clear-sided. In the infield, coolers are limited to 28 inches long by 15 wide by 17 high and also must be clear. Patrons may not bring beverages of any kind into the infield, though non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in the building.
While Chuckas indicated that patrons would likely see an increased police and security presence — including wanding patrons at the entrance gates — he suggested that a little bit of planning would go a long way towards easing the process.
“My recommendation: I’d come early and give yourself plenty of time,” he told reporters on a conference call.