The 138th Preakness Stakes is more than just another horse race. It’s the second leg of the Triple Crown, “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.” It’s also the second-most attended horse race — and tailgate — of the year after the Kentucky Derby.

Click Here for Preakness Tickets

As anyone who’s ever showed up at Baltimore’s Pimlico Racecourse on the third Saturday of May can attest, the scene is fierce — food, drinks, bands and thousands of people looking to party. The time spent partying in the infield can be just as exciting as the race itself. But you’ll have to travel light, because the rules on what you can bring are pretty strict. Fear not, Tailgate Fan can help you figure out the bare essentials.

(Photo Credit: Richard Enge)

(Photo Credit: Richard Enge)

Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies ($19.99)

What’s a friendly bet between good pals, or between you and the fine folks at the racetrack? A chance to make (or lose) some serious cash, that’s what. Bone up on the different types of bets, how to read a racing form and what makes for a winning horse. Use the book to make a cheat sheet for race day, just in case. Don’t leave it all to luck! Your winnings could pay for your day of partying.

Buy Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies.

Photo Credit: Ballistic

Photo Credit: Ballistic

Ballistic SX0945 SG Maxx Case for iPhone 5 ($49.99)

iPhones get dropped, broken, scratched, dinged, scraped… and that’s just in a normal day. So imagine what could happen in the infield. The Maxx Case gives your device its own bodyguard. It’s covered with four layers of protection, including reinforced edges for when it inevitably falls out of your pocket. It’s even designed to keep the screen from touching surfaces when face down — which means no more worrying about random nicks.

Buy the Ballistic Case for iPhone 5.

Photo Credit: Converse

Photo Credit: Converse

Converse CT AS Slip-On Oxfords ($27.19 – $62.00)

Who knows what you’ll be stepping in? So step into a pair of slip-on Chucks first. This traditional, time-tested summer shoe is light, comfortable and cool in whatever color you choose. And you don’t have to worry about shoelaces that inevitably become untied in the scrum anyway. When it’s all over, wash off the grime and you’re ready for the next party.

Buy the Converse Slip-On Oxfords.

Photo Credit: Milani

Photo Credit: Milani

Woven Straw Gangster Hat ($19.99)

You need a little protection out there in the hot, hot sun. But you also want to look good. The straw hat is quintessential summer head gear, and this one is lined for added comfort. And it’s cheap enough that losing it won’t be a big deal.

Buy the Woven Straw Gangster Hat.

Happy tailgating!

Get all your team gear for the big game.

Find more cool gear for your next tailgate.

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.


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