BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As Preakness Week kicks off, Kegasus — the mascot of the festivities — speaks with WJZ.
Andrea Fujii explains the half-man/half-horse is already helping ticket sales.
Kegasus is the face and behind of this year’s Preakness.
“The people of Baltimore have welcomed me without exception with open arms, recognizing me on the street, hailing Kegasus to which I say, ‘All hail to you Baltimore,’” said Kegasus, Preakness mascot.
Ticket sales show his shtick is working. They’re 17 percent higher than they were at this time last year.
“All indications are that he is popular with the folks that go to the bars and those are the people we want on the infield,” said Mike Gathagan, Maryland Jockey Club.
It’s the same rules as last year. No outside alcohol can be brought on the infield, but you can buy as much as you want once inside.
At least 32,000 people were on the infield in 2010, and though it’s his namesake, Kegasus does not promote excessive drinking.
“I believe that’s up to each individual to decide whether or not they choose to remember how truly legendary they were that day,” said Kegasus.
As he gets ready to greet all the infielders, he says he’s honored to have the role.
“As the lord and protector of the Infield Fest and the son of Preakniseious, the god of Preakness, I am proud, I’ve never considered it a job,” said Kegasus.
Most Preakness horses are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.
For ticket information, click here.