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Kentucky Derby Security, Rain Slow Morning Crowds At Churchill Downs

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CHURCHILL DOWNS
Race fans are searched by security personnel as they arrive for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. | Getty Images

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.

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