Kegasus Kicks Off Controversy

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 2:17pm

New Preakness infield mascot is a beer-bellied, nipple ring sporting centaur.

Preakness organizers have unveiled a new marketing campaign for this year's second leg of the Triple Crown based on a mascot named "Kegasus" -- a half-man, half-horse centaur.

Preakness organizers looking to return younger fans to the often rowdy infield at Pimlico Race Course said the Kegasus mascot stepped into his man-stall after they organized an event so spectacular it accidentally ripped a hole in the fabric of awesomeness.

Kegasus is drawing fire from some racing fans who say he'll bring the wrong image to the track.

The mascot follows the introduction last year of unlimited refill beer mugs, a move made to bring the party back to the infield after a ban on bringing beer caused ticket sales to plummet.

Kegasus follows last year's "Get Your Preak On" campaign.

Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas says organizers have never hidden the fact that they want young people to come to the infield and party.

Chuckas says Kegasus speaks their language.

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