LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rain and extra security slowed down morning crowds at the Kentucky Derby, but thousands of poncho-covered racing fans were still expected to fill Churchill Downs.
Early fans were unfazed as Kentucky National Guardsmen searched bags and passed metal-detecting wands over race-goers Saturday in Louisville. The tightened security imposed in response to the Boston Marathon bombings was similar to actions taken after 9/11.
In 2009, the track relaxed some policies, but most of the measures were reinstated this year, including a ban on coolers. Fans this year can purchase disposable coolers inside Churchill Downs, complete with ice.
Among other things, the track banned backpacks and large purses. And despite a forecast for rain all day, umbrellas were not allowed.