Almost as memorable as Charismatic's victory in the Preakness (page 70) was a scene that unfolded earlier last Saturday afternoon at Pimlico. As more than 100,000 shocked spectators looked on, Lee Chang Ferrell, 22, of Bel Air, Md., walked onto the track and tried to take on a nine-horse field charging for the wire in the Maryland Breeders' Cup. Ferrell, who police say was drunk, scaled a seven-foot-high chain-link fence around the infield—unnoticed by the track's 1,000-person security force—then strolled across Pimlico's turf course and crawled under the rail to the main track. He strode toward the horses as they raced through the top of the stretch, then stood with his hands on his hips.
Finally he took a boxer's stance, sidestepped leader Yes It's True and stood directly in the path of Artax, a 1,000-pound colt. "I thought he was going to walk across the track," jockey Jorge Chavez said. "Then he turned and looked right at me. He was waiting for me." Ferrell took a wild overhand swing at Artax but hit Chavez in the back. After the horses thundered by, security guards shoved Ferrell to the ground. Police took him to Sinai Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, then charged him with first-and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, trespassing and resisting arrest. The cops say Ferrell offered them a simple motive: "I was trying to kill myself."