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Sure, horse racing has fallen a few furlongs behind the pack in our nation’s pastimes pecking order.
But the Maryland Jockey Club, which runs Pimlico and Laurel Park and controls Thoroughbred racing in the state, is evidencing supreme self-awareness in the marketing campaign for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes.
The group has just announced that advertising for this year’s race, scheduled for May 21 at Pimlico, will feature Kegasus.
The character, hailed as “Lord and Protector of Infieldfest,” is a beer-gutted dirtball with four legs and a tail and, judging by the tapped keg that Kegasus keeps in his stall, an obvious problem with booze.
In other words, Kegasus is exactly like a typical Preakness Day infielder, only with two more legs and a tail.
Among the value-added products Kegasus will be pushing to race-goers in the campaign: Membership to the Mug Club, which will get you a bottomless cup of beer on race day for $20.
I’d bet sociologists could link the demise of racing and the availability of all-you-can-drink promotions.
“Kegasus speaks directly to our InfieldFest demographic with his no-nonsense personality and total embodiment of a good time,” says Tom Chuckas, Maryland Jockey Club president.
Translation: The character does nothing to promote the fabulous athletic or majestic or parimutuel aspects of the sport of kings. But Kegasus would whup Seabiscuit in a Running of the Urinals.