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The Preakness trophy at the Alibi Breakfast.

2022 Alibi Breakfast

Date: 05/19/2022

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 Pete Gilbert and Scott Wykoff, 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 Bruce Lewandowski for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, asked for good weather and safe racing.

The crowd was a bit smaller than in the past after the 2 year hiatus. The $80 ticket price might have had something to do with that too.
Mike MacAdam received the David F. Woods Award for excellence in journalism for his article "Preakness Winner Rombauer Runs Out of the Baffert Shadow" in the Daily Gazette of Schenectady, NY. "It is a gross understatement to say what an honor it is to be recognized by the Maryland Jockey Club with the David F. Woods Award," MacAdam said. "Writing stories about horse racing is never anything less than a fascinating and rewarding challenge."

Joe Clancy, editor of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, was the Old Hilltop Award winner. He is also the co-owner with his brother Sean of ST Publishing Inc., parent company of The Saratoga Special newspaper. "Thank you to the Maryland Jockey club for recognizing the work of the media, to everyone at Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine, to my brother Sean and coworker Tom Law for the inspiration (and the editing) and to the horses and horse people who let me tell their stories."

Patrick Smith received the Jerry Frutkoff Photography Award for the best Preakness picture of 2021. Smith is a staff photographer based in Baltimore for Getty Images. This is his second consecutive win and third overall in the Frutkoff. Smith said, "During the 2021 Preakness, I was camped in the head-on position. As I watched Flavien Prat guide Rombauer through the field and gain momentum, I knew he'd rejoice with an iconic moment if he cross the finish first - and he did."

Knicks Go, 2021 Horse of the Year and champion older horse, who has been named the Honorary Postmaster for Preakness 147. This is the first time a Thoroughbred horse has been named the postmaster.

There were connections for only five of the nine Preakness entries present at the breakfast.

Simplification's connections were the first interviewed. Alex Sano, assistant to his father Antonio said, "Before I went to veterinary school, I used to see a horse and say, 'It looks pretty,' Now, I see a horse inside and out. I see the ligaments, the tendons, the bones, the muscles the anatomy and how everything works. That for me is priceless. Knowing the mechanics of how a horse functions is awesome. It's like watching a movie that never ends. I'm so proud of my father and his success"
Creative Minister was represented by trainer Ken McPeek. They had to pay $150,000 to supplement Creative Minister to the Preakness which McPeek had to contribute towards. "My wife (Sherri) and I own 10 percent. I had to put up our share, too. It makes it easier for them to do it if I'm going to do it."
Secret Oath was represented by trainer D. Wayne Lukas who was cracking jokes as usual. The 86 year old Hall of Fame trainer is going for his seventh Preakness victory with the filly. "Coming back here ages me a little bit," he said. "There's three signs of old age: The first one is loss of memory. I can't remember the other ones." Later he said, "I asked my wife if in her wildest dreams she ever thought she would be married to a 6 time Preakness winning trainer. She said I wasn't in her wildest dreams."
Armagnac was represented by trainer Tim Yakteen who took over for suspended trainer Bob Baffert before the Kentucky Derby. "Completely different environment, different climate," he said. "I'm excited to be here."

Skippylongstocking was represented by trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. who didn't even know the tradition existed since his first Preakness was in 2020 when it was run in October without fans. "Last time it had none of this," Joseph said. "It was the best. (Lukas) had all those jokes. It was better than going to a comedy show. He cracks everyone up, and it's great to listen to all these stories."

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