Binge Drinking at the Belmont Stakes?

Binge Drinking at the Belmont Stakes?

The Belmont Stakes is one of the best-known thoroughbred races in America. More than 45,000 fans showed up for the third leg of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park in New York.

Even Sarah Palin and her husband Todd made a surprise appearance to root for their favorite contender, First Dude. The horse, which finished third, was named after Todd, who is known as the 'First Dude' of Alaska.

But while the Palins applauded from the grandstands, there's a side to the sport of kings that you don't see on TV.
There was a booze-fueled sea of people, some who partied 'til they dropped. For many fans, a day at the track is as much about drinking as it is the racing.

Many fans congregate in the area known as the "Backyard."  And INSIDE EDITION found that sometimes, the festivities in the Backyard can get pretty out of control.

INSIDE EDITION cameras were rolling as one guy smacked his buddy over the head with a lawn chair.

For many it's a day of non-stop binge drinking. Some fans play drinking games all day. Booze is for sale everywhere, and even though you are not allowed to bring your own alcohol, many smuggle it in.

INSIDE EDITION saw people fill up water bottles with clear, hard liquor and sneak it past security.

Once inside, many fans mixed cocktails with liquor brought in via water bottles. Some race-goers had filled baby pools with the water bottles of liquor.

One man, who had a bloody knee, was kicked out by police for allegedly causing a disturbance.  

As the day wore on, some fans didn't make it to the finish line. INSIDE EDITION spotted a guy passed out on a picnic table and a woman asleep on the ground.

Despite the pageantry, celebrity spectators and the thrilling race, some fans in the "Backyard" never even see a horse.