Horsing Around With Kegasus

Green space. Tons of green space. You could fly a plane into the infield.

That’s all I remember from the Preakness two years ago.

It was incredibly sad to see the annual party that christens Spring in Baltimore turn into the wine and cheese crowd that sometimes occupies Oriole Park.

121, 263 people attended Preakness Day in 2007. Two years later, that number dropped by more than 43,000 folks. The tighter restrictions on alcohol in ’09 caused many “no shows” on the most important day of the racing calendar in Maryland.

Things changed a year later. We were told to get our Preak on. The Jockey Club understood its error. It was time to get the crazy kids back in. Attendance shot up by nearly 20,000 people. The Preakness, in all of its questionable glory, returned to Old Hilltop.

That brings us to Kegasus, a 136-year-old centaur that looks like Kenny Powers.  Embracing social networking, Kegasus has a Twitter account (@AllHailKegasus) and you can like him on Facebook.

Kegasus attends hockey games, enjoys a deep tissue massage and an overall good time. You can see him at InfieldFest on Preakness Day. He won’t be difficult to find. He’s the one with four legs who talks.

Catching up with Kegasus on Wednesday afternoon, I had the honor of being the first journalist to interview this legendary character. That’s a word he likes to use. A lot. Kegasus must have uttered the word “legendary” 1,000 times in our 15-minute phone interview.

He claims to have won every Preakness. He says he invented Twitter. He also really, really wants to meet superhorse Zenyatta. Kegasus is quite a character.

Some folks, like Delegate Pat McDonough, think the Kegasus campaign is infantile and creates a negative image. Kegasus countered these remarks with a challenge. “If you call crabcakes, the Mug Club, Bruno Mars and Train disgusting, then disgust me,” Kegasus said. The legendary creature then threw down the gauntlet and offered a challenge to Del. McDonough in the game of cornhole.

He doesn’t gamble on the races, saying that would give him an unfair advantage.

Kegasus did offer this piece of wagering advice for those who want to put down a dollar or two in May: “The fastest horse will win this year. I guarantee it.”

Want an instant “Dash of Dachille?” Follow him on Twitter at WBALDash.

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