The April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon have made Americans more security conscious — and have left planners of big events, like the May 18 Preakness Stakes, scrambling to make sure their security policies are up-to-date. Case in point: No one will be bringing a cooler (or backpack, or beverage container that’s not see-through) to Pimlico this year.
“Collectively, we feel these changes will address concerns fans may have following the Boston tragedies,” Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas told the Baltimore Sun. “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.”
Police presence was ramped up at last week’s Kentucky Derby, where some (but not all) attendees were subject to a wand scan to check for weapons. Also banned: laser pointers, cameras with detachable lenses, and camera lenses longer than six inches. Preakness fans can expect similar security measures next weekend.
Pimlico has traditionally hired an outside security firm for the event, which draws more than 100,000 visitors each spring. No word on how Kegasus feels about the situation.
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