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Security Ramped Up At Preakness Following Boston Attacks

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Officials declined to comment on whether drones will be used to maintain security at the 138th Preakness Stakes.
Patrick Madden
Officials declined to comment on whether drones will be used to maintain security at the 138th Preakness Stakes.

Preakness officials have toughened security guidelines for the Triple Crown race after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Backpacks and duffel bags will be prohibited from the infield for the first time. Only clear coolers will be allowed in the building or the infield, and the new policy also forbids laser lights and pointers. The Maryland Jockey Club installed the policy after consulting with more than 50 members of federal and local law enforcement.

The Preakness is Baltimore's signature annual sporting event and routinely draws crowds of more than 100,000 to Pimlico Race Course.

Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas says these changes will address concerns fans may have following the Boston tragedies.

"A lot of people just don't want to change their day and be guided by radical individuals," Chuckas says. "In that line of thought, we have tried our best to make sure that you come and you have a great race day, you enjoy the Bend, and have a great time."

Also for the first time, security officers will be wanding — scanning people for metal objects when fans enter the gates.

When asked whether drones would be present at Preakness, Chuckas said he could not comment.

The security measures will be in effect on the day of the Preakness, Saturday May 18, and Black-Eyed Susan day, May 17.


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