What to Bring to 2021 Preakness Stakes, What to Leave Home

Events / Travel
Fans stream over to the infield on Preakness Stakes day in 2017. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

May 15 is coming up fast, and if you’re planning on heading to the Preakness Stakes for the biggest party in horse racing, we’re here to help!

If you don’t have tickets yet, you can grab them right here; if you do, scroll down to see what essentials you should bring to the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and what items you should definitely leave home. It’s important to note that there are different rules for different sections of the racetrack at Pimlico, so check out the Preakness site for a complete list of prohibited items. 


BRING: 

Sunscreen. People, I hope you know this already, but sunburns are bad and sunscreen is good. Grab a travel-sized version from a drugstore and put it in your pocket or purse – you’ll be a hero to anyone who’s turning into a lobster.

LEAVE:

Umbrellas. It does look like rain on Black-Eyed Susan Stakes day (that’s the Friday before the Preakness) but that doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to bring an umbrella – they’re prohibited everywhere on the grounds. I recommend a packable raincoat or poncho for quick and easy storage if you don’t need it the whole day.

BRING:

A portable power bank for your phone. What’s worse than looking down at 3:00 in the afternoon and realizing that you’re at 15% power? I cannot tell you the amount of rideshare drivers who have told me horror stories of being unable to pick up clients after the Preakness because they summoned a ride and then their phone died. Don’t let it happen to you.

LEAVE:

Selfie sticks and drones. Look, I am just as excited as everyone else to rejoin the public after the last year; but even though you can and should take as many photos of you and your friends at the Preakness as possible, you can’t bring a drone or a selfie stick into the facility. Leave ’em or lose ’em, folks.

BRING:

Cash. Unless you’re using the 1/ST Bet app to place a wager, you’re going to need cash to bet on Preakness day. Skip the long ATM lines by bringing your own folding money to Pimlico on race day. 

LEAVE: 

Your backpack. They’re not allowed anywhere onsite at the Preakness, so opt for a purse or clear bag no bigger than 18x18 to carry your personal belongings to the races.

BRING:

Closed-toed shoes, especially if it rains on Friday. It’s a racetrack, so you’ll be glad you have a comfy pair of closed-toed shoes if things get a little muddy. Bonus points for waterproof footwear!

LEAVE:

Balloons, balls, and frisbees. I know it’s a festival atmosphere, especially in the infield, but leave your projectiles at home. Horses (and, let’s face it, a lot of humans) aren’t a big fan of things flying at their faces out of nowhere. 

BRING:

A beach blanket. They’re allowed everywhere, and it’s always good to have a comfortable place to sit, especially in the infield. 

LEAVE:

Folding chairs. They’re not permitted at Pimlico for the Preakness, so opt for the beach blanket option and save yourself a hike back to the car.

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