In 2011 the Preakness infield experience chnaged from what was often an embarrassing free-for-all to a much more organized event. Budweiser InfieldFEST is a multi-entertainment festival with the main stage headlined by Grammy award winning electronic dance music artist Zedd and country superstar Sam Hunt. The DeKuyper Stage features Maryland-based Good Charlotte and LOCASH, and Canadian country stars High Valley. Since 2009, The Stronach Group has partnered with I.M.P., renowned independent promoters and owners of the famed 9:30 Club, operators of Merriweather Post Pavilion and The Lincoln Theatre, and soon to open The Anthem at D.C's Southwest waterfront, to deliver a top tier festival experience on the InfieldFest main stage.
The new Infield policy started in 2009 on alcohol and all beverages will be again be in effect for the 2017 Preakness, including the Infield's Top of the Stretch seating area. Tickets for the public Infield will be $100 in advance or $110 on race day. There is also a "MUG Club" ticket which includes all you can drink beer for those 21 and older which is $120 and mus be purchased in advance (discount pricing ended in February). You must be 21 to enter Mug Club areas and receive Mug Club benefits and there are limited quantities of Mug Club tickets available. In order to receive a Mug, a ticket must be presented, 1 ticket per person (1 person may NOT present several tickets and receive corresponding mugs). Mug Club tickets will be exchanged for the limited-edition InfieldFest 2017 souvenir cup onsite. Mug Club ticket includes access to all Infield Festival party areas, as well as exclusive Mug Club areas. All your beer is included in the Mug Club ticket price at Mug Club stations. Only official Preakness-issued souvenir Mug Club cup will be accepted at filling stations. Mug will not be replaced if lost or stolen. Please note that beverage brands are subject to change, and based on consumptions some brands may not be available throughout the day. The MUG Club opens at 8AM and last call is at 6:45PM.
In addition, the new Mug and Vine Lounge will be added at the top of the stretch, a "VIP" type area which includes the usual MUG Club beer offerings along with fine wines, cash bar, water and sode, private restrooms, its own TV screen, and a picnic lounge. Tickets for this area are limited and cost $155.
As has been the policy the last few years, NO beverages of any kind (cans or bottles) will be allowed to be brought into the Infield. This includes alcohol, soft drinks and water, forcing fans to purchase any beverages once they are inside the track. Food items and Picnic Lunches are OK to bring into the infield. You may carry food items and picnic lunches in CLEAR, See-through plastic containers – NO Thermoses, backpacks, duffle bags, bulk or oversized carrying devices allowed. Coolers larger than 28"L x 15"W x 17"H are prohibited,. Top of the Stretch seats will be limited to coolers 12 x 12 x 12" or smaller. In addition you cannot bring in totems, frisbees, laser pointers, glow sticks, tripods, tents, balloons, balls, fireworks, mace/pepper spray, grills, umbrellas, weapons, wheeled carts of any kind, metal furniture/tables/ladders/scaffolds (folding or not). Full rules are available here.
Bar concession prices include $12 Black-Eyed Susans, $10 mixed drinks, $8 glasses of wine, $8 beer, $5 cans of Red Bull, and $4 water or soda. The Black-Eyed Susan recipe seems to change every year or two as "official sponsor" liquor brands change. Here is this year's recipe.
At time of writing the full list of Infield activities and promotions has not been released, but we do know that it will host the annual Bikini Contest at the Jagermeister Second Stage. In addition the military will be on display, with the Air Force bringing its Flat Black Suburban "show truck" tricked out with two 1000-watt amplifiers and the Marines bringing its new M1151 HMMWV Hummer designed to carry more passengers or additional supplies up to 2300 lb. The Army Parachute Team usually performs during the undercard, followed by a flyover of the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber. As per tradition the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club sings Maryland My Maryland during the post parade, while tenor Anthony Kearns will sing the national anthem.
“The Preakness is one of the most storied sporting events in American history,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group. “It is our goal to honor that history while continuing to modernize the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing by offering unique entertainment and guest experiences, such as InfieldFest, to engage a new generation of fans. This concert is for the fans and we are excited to share such a talented lineup with our guests,” said Stronach.
In the past, the Preakness Infield has been notorious as the wildest of the Triple Crown races with fans lugging in huge coolers of beer and getting extremely drunk and rowdy. The kids in the local neighborhood were disappointed the first year under the new regime as they always made some extra cash by pushing stolen grocery carts filled with beer for patrons walking from their cars to the Infield entrance. This also put a stop to the "running of the urinals" on Preakness day which had been a "tradition" until 2008. It is worth noting that in 2008, 126 fans were ejected from the infield and 6 were arrested, directly resulting in the sweeping changes in 2009.
2017 Triple Crown quick links:
Tapwrit wins the 2017 Belmont Stakes (G1) - Tapwrit ran down favorite and pacesetter Irish War Cry to win the 2017 Belmont Stakes (G1) by 2 lengths on Saturday with one-eyed Patch finishing third. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Belmont Undercard Stakes Results - There were nine other stakes on the 2017 Belmont undercard, including the Manhattan Handicap (G1), Just a Game Stakes (G1), Metropolitan Handicap (G1), Acorn Stakes (G1), and Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) won by Ascend, Antonoe, Mor Spirit, Abel Tasman, and Songbird. Plus a world record was set by Disco Partner in the Jaipur Invitational Stakes (G3). Get the results, charts, and photos for all nine here.
2017 Belmont Festival Friday Stakes Results - Friday at Belmont Park had 5 stakes races: the True North (G2) won by Roy H, the New York Stakes (G2) won by Hawksmoor, the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational (G3) won by Red Cardinal, the Bed o'Roses Invitational (G3) won by By the Moon, and the Tremont Stakes won by He Hate Me. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Intercontinental (G3), Wonder Again (G3), and Astoria Stakes - The Belmont Stakes Festival kicked off on Thursday with three stakes races, the Intercontinental (G3) won by Mississippi Delta, the Wonder Again Stakes (G3) won by New Money Honey, and the Astoria Stakes won by I Still Miss You. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Thursday Belmont Photos - Check out photos of 10 of the Belmont Stakes horses from Thursday morning at Belmont Park along with Songbird, Cloud Computing, Mor Spirit, and Abel Tasman.
Cloud Computing wins the Preakness (G1) - Cloud Computing pressed the pace and got up to win the 2017 Preakness (G1) by a head over Classic Empire with Senior Investment third. Favorite Always Dreaming faded to 8th. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Preakness Undercard Stakes Results - There were 7 other stakes on Preakness day, highlighted by the Dixie Stakes (G2) on the turf won by World Approval, the Gallorette (G3) won by Cambodia, and the Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) won by Whitmore. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 7 races here.
Black-Eyed Susan Day Results - Actress broke her maiden in the mud to win the 2017 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico on Friday. There were 6 other stakes on the card including the Pimlico Special (G3) won by Shaman Ghost, the Allaire Dupont Distaff (G3) won by Terra Promessa, and the Miss Preakness Stakes (G3) won by Vertical Oak. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 7 races here.
Thursday Preakness Photos - Two photos each and comments for all 10 Preakness horses from Thursday morning at Pimlico. Everyone galloped today since training ends early Friday.
2017 Alibi Breakfast - The traditional Alibi Breakfast was held on Thursday May 18, before the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes. Connections of some of the 10 Preakness entrants were on hand to swap stories about their horse as well as watch the presentation of the annual awards.
2017 Preakness Entries - A field of 10 was entered for the 142nd Preakness on Saturday, with Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming drawing post 4 as the 4-5 favorite. Classic Empire is second choice at 3-1 from post 5. Get the horses, posts, odds, and free past performances here.
Wednesday Preakness Photos - Two photos each and comments for all the Preakness horses from Wednesday afternoon at Pimlico, except Multiplier who arrived late yesterday.
Tuesday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for seven of the Preakness horses from Tuesday afternoon at Pimlico, including Always Dreaming, Classic Empire, and five others who arrived today.
Preakness Entry Rules - the field is limited to 14 starters, here is how they determine the order of preference if more than that enter.
Preakness Infield - After the massive tightening of the rules which resulted in a huge drop in attendance in 2009, things have relaxed slightly and you can buy a special "all you can drink beer" Mug Club ticket now.
Preakness Traditions - Black-eyed Susans to the winner, the Woodlawn Vase trophy, the Alibi Breakfast, painting the weather vane, and more.
Always Dreaming romps in the 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) - Favorite Always Dreaming led most of the way to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 2 3/4 lengths in the slop at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Longshots Lookin at Lee and Battle of Midway finished second and third. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Derby Undercard Stakes Results - There were 6 other stakes on the card today with the Derby, including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) won by Divisidero, the Humana Distaff (G1) won by Paulassilverlining, the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) won by Roca Rojo, the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) won by Limousine Liberal, the American Turf (G2) won by Arklow, and the Pat Day Mile (G3) won by Wild Shot. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Abel Tasman wins the 2017 Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Abel Tasman came from last early on to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths in the slop at Churchill Downs on Friday. Daddys Lil Darling was second and Lockdown was 3rd while favorite Paradise Woods faded to 11th. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results - There were 5 other stakes on the card today with the Oaks, including the La Troienne (G1) won by Big World, the Alysheba (G2) won by Bird Song, the Eight Belles (G2) won by Benner Island, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) won by Green Mask, and the Edgewood Stakes (G3) won by La Coronel. Get the results, charts, and photos here.