Preakness Mascot Kegasus Sparks Criticism

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We’re less than two months away from the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes, but instead of the horses, it’s an ad for the infield party that has everyone talking.

Kai Jackson explains why some are concerned about the message Kegasus is sending.

One thing is clear: this new Preakness campaign is generating a lot of attention.

Those who flock to the infield on Preakness have long been tagged “party animals.”  Now the owners of the track have brought that term to life. 

To keep the horses running, the owners need the middle of the track full.  The track president will remind you that this one day gives Pimlico enough money to operate the rest of the year and they need people who may not ever see what’s coming down the home stretch or any straight line.

“The Preakness is our money maker.  It’s the most important day of racing in Maryland,” said Tom Chuckas, Maryland Jockey Club.

That’s where Kegasus comes in.  He’s half man and half horse.  He’s also a party animal whose name and demeanor says alcohol and lots of it is involved.  These ads are already being criticized as being tasteless and encouraging binge drinking.

“Here’s nipples or whatever he’s got, and a beer bong,” said Mike Gimbel, substance abuse expert.

“He’s edgy, catchy.  Some like him and some don’t.  Our goal is to get a younger demographic out there, which for years we’ve been accused of doing stodgy ads, not appealing to any kind of young person,” said Chuckas.  “I guess I follow the old axiom that controversy is good because you’re being talked about.  You’re in the public eye.”

In fact, he says by stopping BYOB two years ago, the infield now is safer and less drunk or dangerous.

“The occurrences in previous years were not there so I’m not glorifying drinking,” he said.

Right now, the tickets are $40 and stay that way up until a week before Preakness when they go up to $50 apiece.

Also sold at the infield are versions of their “Mug Club.”  For $20 more, you are sold a mug with unlimited refills of beer.  They are changing it this year with an eye to cut down on long lines.

The second jewel of horce racing’s Triple Crown is set for May 21.

  • bmoregyrl

    OMG its time to party not worry about what Delegate has to say worry about real issues that are going on.

  • bmoreguy


  • fran

    get a life, that is all u got, as being creative.

  • Doug

    The guy looks like an experiment gone wrong at Monsanto

  • Cathy

    The party time on the infield is great.Been there done that many a time Never mind the adds. Just show.The horses this year are heating up and fast.They’ll find a great add next year. But I kinda think it took a little thought to come up with this Kegasus. The beer truck/s is a good idea. More room to party. Has anyone seen the trash left after the race? It’s BAD.

  • Bernie

    Don’t bother to show up at the Preakness if you’re over forty. This once proud Baltimore only tradition was showcased for all of America to see on T.V. Now, it will be Tits, slits & zits. Why didn’t the city just have a three day bash with the Dave Matthews band or some other groups & let these fools drink & drug their silly heads off. A one day drunk fest has replaced an institution & where are all these kids all the other racing days of the season? Stoned somewhere I suppose.

    • J

      What’s wrong with tit’s and slits?

    • Richard Crystal

      Baltimore is such a class act, dontcha think? The only thing I believe they got wrong with this is; Kegasus should be shown puking in the infield.

  • Cathy

    SWEET HEART GET A LIFE I HAVE ONE.Take that chill pill that’s been parked between you butt cheeks

  • Cathy

    UP tight and with NO RIGHT-Bet you don’t smoke and sink just the same

  • T

    Delegate Pat McDonough sure is a tight ass. Despite the fact that I have never, nor will ever, attend the infield party, I thouht “Get Your Preak On” was funny, and Kegasus is a riot! Pat, focus on real issues.

  • Cathy

    trash talk-SHOWS YOUR SIDE- DIRT BALLS ARE DIRT BALLS And your the biggest one.You crawled out of the trash from last years races didn’t you?

  • Sober Mary

    You people make me sick. All alcohol should be banned. People who drink that junk shoud have their head examined. It should be replaced with apple juice, orange juice, etc. NOT SODA.

  • Cathy

    The write is about the add and race. Not the drinking. It’s a great party.It’s up to the individual how much you consume. I don’t drink. But like a good party

  • Cathy

    When I have gotten the chance to go to the races most in attend are middle to upper middle class on the in field.

  • Cathy

    Clean and sober or not It’s people with narrow views and self severing that make all of U.S. sick enough to puke.May it be on you.

  • ratm33

    I cant beleive this is actually news. With all the wrong our government is doing I guess it is just a diversion so eyes are not on them. I am still watching.

  • Cathy

    Dude you have no idea how stupid you really are. Take a drink and that chill pill from your butt You need it. call a doc for yourself while your at.Before some calls the cops on your butt

    • quovadis

      Cathy,….OMG look who sounds like & is calling me stupid.You have better chance of plucking hairs out of a lions ass unscathed then you do making it in life.

  • maggie

    II do believe there are more important things to be worrying about than a commercial.

    By the way, the mascot is not even Pegasus. Pegasus is a WINGED Horse. The half mand/half horse is called a Centaur.

  • Doug

    Who said it even sparks criticism.
    It’s all in good humor.
    I think it’s a riot.

  • John Cofiell

    Why can’t they advertise what they want to. Just like the people protesting at funerals. Freedom of speech. I disagree with both. How can we be protected from our own freedom?

  • Cathy

    UP TIGHT WITH NO RIGHT. THe add is alright. The races is what it’s about. NOT ME or some jack with a flack. That needs a drink and a tranqu.

  • Erin

    The real news story should be how preakness advertising staff doesn’t know their greek mythology. Pegasus is a winged horse so wouldn’t kegasus be a flying keg? I would think they had fact checkers or something to make sure this stuff made sense.

  • Ben Reichart

    Honesty in Advertising ? This is what some are upset about. We want younger people to drink in the infiels at Preakness to keep the track going. The centaur is funny anyway ! They are only showing the truth. Money is what is needed and one way to get that is is to get people drunk ! Party On !

  • Jess

    I think it is completely stupid.! The infield is known for drinking but making it in your mascot for Preakness makes it really tacky! Is it a race track or a frat house.

  • Randy

    This is news? I guess our state is in such great shape that it is time to worry about the Preakness mascot.Lighten up state officials. Political and holier than thou grandstanding.Simmer down now people

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