The video: In a transparent effort to lure young, alcohol-swilling fans, organizers of the Preakness — the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, which takes place every May in Maryland — have enlisted a new advertising mascot known as "the Kegasus," a centaur who sports a nipple ring, abundant body hair, and a party-time spirit. (See video of the Kegasus below.) Drinking in the "infield," the large area encircled by the race track, is a time-honored Preakness tradition, but some infield antics have been irking traditionalists — most notably, the "running of the urinals" (discontinued in 2009) in which fans poised atop port-a-potties were belted with beer cans. Bikini contests, however, remain safe from regulation.
The reaction: "Maybe the Maryland Jockey Club knows more than I do about their fans," says Zach Wilt at BaltimoreSportsReport.com, "but targeting drunken, shirtless idiots to Preakness just seems wrong." Why not use this legendary race's rich history to attract new enthusiasts? This is what happens when you enlist an out-of-town ad agency, says Lauren Vozzella at The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore is already home to a plethora of unsavory would-be mascots, like the "13 city Transportation Department workers caught last week allegedly drinking and shooting dice during work hours." Go on, meet Kegasus: