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  • 2023 Alibi Breakfast

    The call to the post at the Alibi Breakfast.
    Date: 05/18/2023

    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 personality Scott Wykoff, the event not only allows a representative for each horse 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.

    Tickets to the breakfast were sold for $89 which greatly reduced the attendance from past years, however the buffet was lacking items that were regularly offered such as eggs benedict, bagels and smoked salmon, crepes, fried chicken (replaced this year by nuggets), and the biggest change of all was the Black-Eyed Susan cocktails are no longer included, but instead were sold at the cash bar for $14.

    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.

    Jay Privman received the David F. Woods Memorial Award for excellence in journalism for his article "At 86, Lukas is in the Spotlight not the Twilight" in the Daily Racing Form. "Building up relationships over years and having access to those in racing are both paramount to make stories like this possible. I thank Wayne for his time last year at the stakes barn as we went down memory lane and I thank the Maryland Jockey Club for continuing its support and acknowledgment of the vital role racing media plays in telling the sport's stories."

    Tom Pedulla, who has reported on Thoroughbred racing for over 3 decades, was the Old Hilltop Award winner. After keeping box scores for the New York Yankees games for Associated Press he became the Yankees beat writer for Gannett Newspapers in 1986. When Gannett cut him and others, Tom credits racing for allowing him to continue his career in journalism, writing for various publications including BloodHorse, New York Times, USA Today, Paulick Report, and America's Best Racing. He has covered 25 of the last 27 Triple Crowns and Breeders' Cups, 17 Super Bowls, 6 Olympics, and 11 World Series.

    Rob Carr received the Jerry Frutkoff Photography Award for the best Preakness picture of 2022. Carr is a staff photographer based in Baltimore for Getty Images. The photo is of jockey Jose Ortiz overcome with emotion on his way to the Preakness winner's circle. Carr has covered racing for over 30 years and grew up in the industry as his father worked at several Maryland farms.

    Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, has been named the Honorary Postmaster for Preakness 149. Goodall came to the MHBA in 1986 to work on Maryland Million Day, founded by sportscaster Jim McKay to celebrate Maryland horses, and has promoted the state's breeding and racing legacy ever since.

    There were connections for only four of the seven Preakness entries present at the breakfast.

    Chase the Chaos was represented by co-owner Sandy Dory. Dory said, "The best word (to describe the experience) is 'Unbelievable'. This is a dream come true especially for my husband who has been in the game for several years now. We just keep pinching ourselves that we're actually here. That's the dream, you buy in for low ($10,000 purchase) and you make a lot of money. The trip (from California) is one we had to take. (The horse looks) amazing. We are the longest shot on the board I believe but you know what, I love an underdog!"
    Mage was represented by Chase Chamberlain of co-owners Commonwealth Thoroughbreds. Chamberlain said, "Our business partner saw this horse, said he looks just like his dad, I said sign the papers, we're in. He looks amazing, so much credit is due to Gustavo Sr. and Jr., they just did an amazing job managing this horse. It's so wonderful to have people see just how much love and care goes into making sure these horses are 100%. (Mage) is a cool customer, he's ready. We knew he was going to be something special. But a Kentucky Derby winner, no way. Even last fall we didn't think he was ready."
    Coffeewithchris was represented by owner-trainer John Salzman Jr. who said of his Maryland bred, "I just learned something about that $500,000 bonus (for Maryland-bred or sired horses who win the Preakness). I never met Tom (Rooney, breeder and also the CEO of the NTRA) but he's been texting me a lot lately so I'm hoping for the best for him. (joking) He's a good shipper! (between Laurel, Pimlico, Timonium and Colonial Downs in Virginia). I'm a Maryland guy so I like to stay close to home. We didn't win the Tesio so that didn't work out but we were only beaten 2 lengths so I'm not going to let the 2 lengths keep me out of the Preakness. I know we're a longshot but we'll take a chance." Saltzman got emotional when crediting his team for getting him to the race: his wife, veterinarian, and exercise rider, mentioning that the horse's groom never took a vacation in 20 years but needed this week off so "my horse doesn't have a groom".
    Perform was represented by trainer Shug McGaughey. McGaughey said, "If he didn't win the Tesio we probably wouldn't be here. After conversations I had with Feargal (Lynch, jockey) about the problems we had in the Tesio, it kind of got us thinking, and he left it up to me and after he had a good work 2 weeks ago and another last week we were pleased. And I've never won the Preakness and I'm not going to win the Preakness if they're standing in the stall. (Assistant trainer Anthony Hamilton Jr., who is Baltimore born and raised) has done a tremendous job for me, takes a lot of the pressure off me. I'm really proud of the job he's doing. I'm glad to bring him back to Maryland with this opportunity."

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