Freakness at the Preakness, Part II: Fight Club

Each day between now and Saturday’s race we’re highlighting a different depraved Preakness infield tradition. Today: drunken brawls.

Yesterday we introduced the time-honored Preakness tradition of port-a-potty running. Today, we’re going even more lowbrow. Alcohol and fighting go hand in hand, and drinking is a cornerstone of the event.

Preakness officials now seem resigned to embracing the chaos following a failed campaign to make the infield party a more family-friendly event. After booze-fueled violence reached a fever pitch in 2008 (300 people ended up in the hospital, 126 people were ejected from Pimlico and there were six arrests), the track decided to ban race-goers from bringing alcohol to the event.

Attendance dropped off dramatically, prompting officials to try to bring the booze appeal back to the infield with “InfieldFest” and plenty of opportunities to purchase bottomless beer mugs. What’s more, they decided to capitalize on the Preakness’ former reputation as a drunken free-for-all, adopting “Get Your Preak On” as its slogan and a half-man, half-horse named “Kegasus” as the race’s mascot.

From mud wrestling…

To public brawls…

To random acts of chokehold…

…We can’t wait to see what kind of classiness will take place this year.

Keep it real, Horse Nation.

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