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The Preakness trophy at the Alibi Breakfast.

2018 Alibi Breakfast

Date: 05/17/2018

The Alibi Breakfast is a Pimlico tradition that dates back to the 1930's. On the porch of the historic Clubhouse, owners, trainers, and press would discuss the horses over coffee each morning during training hours. Some of the greatest tales of racing ever to reach print were told those mornings. The tradition of the Preakness Alibi Breakfast started in the 1940's, a chance for the connections of Preakness entrants to solicit interesting and often colorful race predictions. Hosted by Baltimore radio personalities Scott Garceau and Keith Mills, the event not only allows each trainer to be interviewed in a relaxed atmosphere, but also for the Maryland Jockey Club to present awards to members of the media and others who have made significant contributions to the local racing industry.

One tradition is a blessing given by a local Roman Catholic Church leader. This year Bishop Mark Brennan for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, asked for good weather and safe racing. Given the current conditions and forecast for the weekend, it might take a miracle to have a fast track on Saturday!

Jeannine Edwards received the Special Award of Merit. It is given to those who have made a positive impact on the racing industry. Recently retired from ESPN, her broadcasting career began in Maryland in 1993 afer 10 years as an exercise rider, apprentice jockey, and trainer. She said, “I was stunned when I got the call that I was receiving this award. My first reaction was 'Me? I don't deserve something like that!' and then 'I haven't been retired long enough!' To call this an honor would be an understatement. I'm touched, humbled, and blown away by this award. There are so many long-time, hard-working, talented professionals who have made horse racing their life's work that I feel extremely blessed to be recognized in this way. A thousand Thank You's to the Maryland Jockey Club, for giving me my start in television and now honoring me with this accolade."
Chris Dachille was the Old Hilltop Award winner. He has covered the Preakness for WBAL-TV since 2004 as executive sports producer. The show's host Gerry Sandusky said when introducing Dachille, "Chris just says the magic words, 'trust me,' and he will talk me through the entire show. And a lot of times, if it came out of my mouth, it came through my ear from Chris. I know if he says, 'trust me,' I can trust him." Dachille said, "I can't wait for Saturday. I can't wait for us to bring you the story of this week's Preakness."
Edgar Prado received a special trophy by the Maryland Jockey Club for his reaching 7000 career wins and was presented a plaque by Baltimore Postmaster Le Gretta Y. Ross-Rawlins as the honorary postmaster for the Preakness station. Prado said, "I've been here for so many years but I really don't go to those kinds of things because I'm usually in the jockey's room or riding but it was good. I never knew it had so much impact in the business. You could see all the owners and trainers and people from the outside to come to the breakfast and hear about the horse racing. I think it's a great thing to do."
Quip was represented by trainer Rodolphe Brisset. The hosts asked him to say "Welcome to the Preakness!" in French but he declined, saying he hasn't spoken French in years and would be better off saying it in Spanish! He said, "He's changed a lot. After the Kentucky Jockey Club, we gave him a couple of weeks off and you could see the maturation. You still have to be a little careful when he's around too many horses, but he's way more professional."
Tenfold was represented by assistant trainer Scott Blasi. Blasi said, "We have a fresh horse; he's put on weight since the Arkansas Derby and he's trained really well at Churchill Downs. The timing is good for us for this race. With all this wet weather, him being a Curlin, he steps up with the sloppy track and moves forward."
Diamond King was represented by trainer John Servis. Servis said, "He's doing great, but we're up against it, that's all. This is by far the toughest he's faced." Owner Chuck Zacney added, "The story goes that we got this horse at the sale last May, and as soon as I saw him train I never said he's a Derby horse. I always said this is a Preakness horse. I always had my sights set on the Preakness."
Justify was represented by trainer Bob Baffert and trainer D. Wayne Lukas represented Bravazo and Sporting Chance and they put on a show together for a bit, cracking jokes and sharing stories. In the past they had been bitter rivals but as the years passed they have become good friends. Baffert said, "He's always been my idol. Lord forgive him!" Lukas replied, "I don't like you nearly as much when you got these good ones. Is there any chance I can trade both of mine for yours on Saturday? I'll make you a straight-up deal with some cash on the side. It's your race to lose, Bob. I'm going to try like hell to beat you, and so is John Servis ... on the heels of American Pharoah." Baffert answered, "Well, he's trying to jinx me. I know that deal. I got him set up already." Baffert is also a big fan of InfieldFest headliner Post Malone. He said, "My kids are here. We met him at the Pegasus (World Cup at Gulfstream), and he's a character. I actually, I really listen to his music." Lukas told a story about winning the Southwest Stakes with a horse owned by Baffert's wife. Baffert quipped, "Who would have thought 35 years ago that you would be my assistant?"

Looking out over the crowd and the buffet. Today they had smoked salmon, fried chicken, crab cakes, shrimp and grits, custom omelets, and a waffle station, washed down with the traditional Black-Eyed Susan cocktail, made with bourbon, peach schnapps, vodka, orange juice, and sour mix.

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