Kentucky Derby Maintains Security Amid Crowds

Honeywell’s Pro-Watch security management system provides new access control technology for Churchill Downs, the Home of the Kentucky Derby. The technology is being used to manage identification data for all corporate racetrack employees and third-party vendors.


Honeywell has been chosen to assist one of the country’s most historic and iconic sports venues implement security measures that will allow it to maintain a free-flowing public setting while providing a safe and secure environment. Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, selected Honeywell’s Pro-Watch security management system to ensure better control and monitoring of the racetrack’s administrative facilities.

Louisville-based integrator Ready Electric Company Inc. installed the initial proximity card reader system at the Churchill Downs administrative building, where all track operations are managed. The system will ensure only authorized personnel can access the building, while continuing to allow easy public access to the rest of the campus, which was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986. 

 “Churchill Downs is very accessible and designed to provide an open environment to the public,” says Chuck Millhollan, Churchill Downs program management director. “Even during non-race days, it had been common for people to walk about the facility freely. At the same time, we need to maintain a high level of protection for our employees.”

Pro-Watch allows corporations to manage multiple security subsystems such as access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection on a single software platform. Churchill Downs is using Pro-Watch to manage identification data for all corporate racetrack employees and third-party vendors; system operators can assign appropriate access privileges to individual cardholders. Additionally, the system’s badging capabilities allow designated Churchill Downs employees to manage the credentialing process for all cardholders as necessary.

The software will allow Churchill Downs to easily expand the overall security system in the future as needed. For example, the access control system can add an unlimited number of doors and encompass multiple buildings, as well as advanced video technology.

“More corporations and facilities like Churchill Downs are moving toward software such as Pro-Watch because having the ability to easily grow in the future will ultimately help save money,” says Dan Kloenne for Ready Electric. “Security threats are constantly evolving, and many of our customers want to invest now in flexible technology that will help them adapt as necessary.”

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