Preakness 2012 Infield Fest: Pics from Pimlico's Infield Party

Ryan KlockeFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2012

Preakness 2012 Infield Fest: Pics from Pimlico's Infield Party

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    Churchill Downs this is not. 

    Keep those funky floral hats and mint juleps in Kentucky, we're at Pimlico, the frat house of horse racing: Beers. More beers. All-you-can-drink beers, in fact.The argument can be made that the Preakness is the biggest party in sports, and the second leg of the triple crown sure hasn't disappointed in years past with a huge chunk of the six-figure crowd getting sloshed. 

    The party's crazy. Too crazy, some contend. Yet, the signs of it slowing down don't seem to be stopping anytime soon, especially when organizers invite Wiz Khalifa—ever heard the chorus of "Young, Wild and Free"?—to take the stage and roll out the red carpet for a pot-bellied centaur named "Kegasus".

    You can't make this stuff up. Just check out the photos. 

"The People's Race...The People's Party"

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    That's how The Preakness bills itself, and they proceed to live up to their motto by letting the people drink all they want. A lump sum will get you an all-you-can chug pass, and if that sounds crazy enough, remember that back until 2009, you could cart your own alcohol in.

    Welcome to the "Mug Club."

Is This a Horse Race or a Concert?

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    It's a good question to ask, because the ratio of music to actual horse racing is definitely in favor of the former. Along from Mr. Khalifa here, the 2012 infield fest has a festival-type lineup. Maroon 5 is co-headlining along with three more acts, who are taking probably the best-named stage in concert history. 

    The Beer Garden Jägermeister Stage welcomes British rockers The Darkness; Nashville-based country band, Little Big Town; and regional favorites, Mr. Greengenes. 

    And for the record: The Darkness > Maroon 5. 

Seriously...

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    Come on, boys. Pace yourself. This photo popped up on US PRESSWIRE nearly three hours before post time for the race. THREE HOURS. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Amateurs. 

Sage Advice

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    ESPN's Scott Van Pelt knows his stuff. Easily the best tweet so far about what's going down in the infield at Pimlico. Sage advice that definitely wasn't heeded by the two gentleman in the previous photo. 

Yes, That Tent Does Say Jagermeister

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    Anybody else want to be there? For the record, last year 107,000 came out to party. This year looks like it's on-pace to break that mark. 

Cam Newton Cameo

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    The Kentucky Derby may be the race most associated with celebrity appearances, but Panthers quarterback Cam Newton knows the Preakness is the best spot to get your party on. 

I See What You Did There...

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    Clever. Very Clever. Since these creative types here have broached the subject of Kentucky Derby Winner I'll Have Another, here are a couple other favorites who could spoil everyone's hopes to finally see a triple crown winner for the first time in seemingly ever. 

Don't Be This Guy

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    Whether you're at the Preakness, a bar in your town or at a party, don't ever be this guy. Ever. 

Again, Pace Yourself

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    Ten bucks that person wakes up with a huge headache, and without that Iphone (and probably his sunglasses and wallet, too). 

Nice Suit, Bro

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    Really. Why not have a little fun with your attire. And based on this picture, it seems to be working pretty well. 

Did You Get the Memo?

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess this was planned. I approve. 

"Harder to Breathe"? "Sunday Morning"? "She Will Be Loved"?

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    I have no clue what Adam Levine of Maroon 5 is singing here, but I'm really embarrassed that I used to like this band in the early 2000s. 

    Shakes head. 

Got Beer?

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    The hat asks a simple question, and as we've covered here before, there's plenty of it around at this event. 

Kegasus!

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    This seriously is an official mascot. Really. And his name actually is Kegasus. Get it? Keg-a-sus? So creative, and not at all an encouragement to drink. Anyhow, he's pretty popular around these parts. 

Get in Line

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    Ah, the downside to any big party or crowded bar. Gotta hate lines, though when you're getting a bottomless cup at a sporting event, it's hard to feel bad for these folks. 

Grab a Seat

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    This beats sitting in the bleachers in just about, um ... every stadium ever. Wonder if any of these people actually know that I'll Have Another won the race .

The Hard Stuff?

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    There's more out there than just beer, as these folks prove. The older, dosen't-drink-as-often crowd is always a fun one when it's party time. Just look at weddings for proof. Regardless, we can definitively rule that the Preakness Infield Fest is the best party in horse racing—and maybe in sports, though the NASCAR folks may have something to say about that. 

    They do this kind of stuff more than 30 times a year.