The Maryland Jockey Club today announced at a news conference in the Terrace Dining Room at Pimlico Race Course that it is redefining the Infield experience on Preakness day, May 16, 2009. Preakness InfieldFEST will feature a concert with three rock performances, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top and Grammy-nominated Buckcherry, along with a pro volleyball tournament and an interactive section prior to the running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (Grade I). A new Infield (including the Infield’s Top of the Stretch seating area) policy on alcohol and all beverages will be implemented for the 134th event, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.
“The Preakness Stakes is the biggest single-day sporting event in the state with attendance figures exceeding 100,000 nine of the last 10 years, including eight straight,” said Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Tom Chuckas. “In 100 days, the best three-year-old horses will be in Baltimore and we feel it is time for our public Infield customers to enjoy a new way to party. In this year of change it is now time to transform the Preakness Infield experience.”
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, ZZ Top is considered by many to be the premiere party band on the planet. Formed in Houston in 1969, the band still features its original three members: guitarist Billy F Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. The band’s catalog of iconic hits includes such songs as “La Grange,” “Tush”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Legs” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and reflects its Texas roots. Their hirsute look, as seen in a string of hit videos at the dawn of the MTV era, has made ZZ Top one of the world’s most instantly recognizable groups over the course of the past 40 hard rocking years.
Dubbed the Next Great American Rock Band, the Multi-Platinum, Grammy-nominated Buckcherry is touring in support of their fourth album, Black Butterfly, which was named iTunes Rock Album of the Year and has produced three multi-format hits including “Don’t Go Away” and “Rescue Me”. The band’s first Top 10 single, “Sorry”, hit the Hot 100 Billboard chart in 2008. The Los Angeles-based band is currently co-headlining a North American arena tour with Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach and Saving Abel.
A third band will be added to the lineup at a later date.