Kegasus, the controversial infield centaur mascot credited with helping attract more fans to the InfieldFest at the 2011 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will make a return appearance in 2012. The $1 million Preakness will be held May 19 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced March 26 “the return of Kegasus as Lord of the Preakness InfieldFest and centerpiece of its 2012 advertising campaign.”
“We are excited that Kegasus is back and look forward to his character evolving in 2012,” MJC president Tom Chuckas said. “We experienced one of the most successful InfieldFests in history last year and are certain that Kegasus brought the spirit of fun and energy tailored toward a younger demographic.”
A mascot that is half-man and half-horse, Kegasus was criticized by one Maryland lawmaker for portraying a negative image. Following the 2011 Preakness, Chuckas attributed an increase of 8,000 in the Pimlico infield to the Kegasus campaign.
MJC officials said Kegasus will be making more appearances at various grassroots events around Baltimore and Washington, D.C., leading up to the Preakness, and will again be available for radio and television interviews.
Kegasus will appear at the track’s March 30 meet opener, followed by the Orioles opening day April 6. He will continue to post videos to his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/allhailkegasus), and tweet @AllHailKegasus.
This year, Pegasus will be joined by UniCarl, which the MJC said “is part human, part unicorn, part personal assistant, and part personal trainer. UniCarl and Kegasus met at the Genius Bar in the Towson Town Center’s Mac Store in May 2011 and have been traveling the world together ever since. He will be seen both in the television advertisements and promoting InfieldFest during the grassroots events.”
The 2012 IinfieldFest also marks the return of MUG Club, offering fans a bottomless mug all day long for one price. MJC previously announced an InfieldFest music lineup that includes Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa.
“The Preakness Stakes is a unique and special day – and the InfieldFest is just one of the many components that makes it as magical as it is,” Chuckas said. “All of us at the Maryland Jockey Club are proud to steward such a dynamic and incredible event.”