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 Rev. Matthew Buening for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, asked for good weather and safe racing, saying "May half of our stories be true and may one of us be right in our predictions. We thank you in advance for good weather."
Bob Ehalt received the David F. Woods Award for excellence in journalism for his article "Baffert and the Triple Crown: Two out of Three Ain’t Bad? It’s Unprecedented". “It is truly an honor to be presented with this highly respected award and be included among so many great and talented recipients,” Ehalt said. “I’m thankful to Pimlico and the Maryland Jockey Club for their continued support of this award that honors David F. Woods and recognizes the tremendous efforts of the journalists who cover this historic event.”
Steve Byk was the Old Hilltop Award winner. His eponymous "At the Races with Steve Byk" is racing's only national daily news and talk show. He also created Dee Tee Stables, a racing club to attract new owners at minimal cost. Byk said, "I can’t leave this podium without saying, this race belongs on these grounds, forever. The Maryland breeder and ownership community sustained racing here through a very difficult period of time. Really call upon them to work with the city, the state, The Stronach Group, Park Heights Renaissance. People have tried to marginalize our industry, the people in this neighborhood have been marginalized. We should work together and build a new Hilltop.”
Steve Heuertz received the Jerry Frutkoff Photography Award for his photo of eventual Triple Crown winner Justify jumping a puddle while racing in front of the grandstand in last year's Preakness. Heuertz is based in Chicago and regularly covers Arlington and Hawthorne as well as the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup.
War of Will was represented by trainer Mark Casse. Asked to compare War of Will with Tepin, he said, “She would just get it done. She wasn’t real fluid on the track. She would trip, nearly fall, give me a heart attack half the time. But him, he just skips along. He doesn’t get tired. He has extremely quick turn of foot when you ask it.”
Improbable was represented by co-owner Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing. Wolf said, "Very exciting. This is more like a party -- not the pressure of the Derby on you. This seems to be the most fun place. The Preakness would not be the Preakness if it weren't run here. Other track improvements -- I guess I'd be more of a traditionalist."
Market King was represented by trainer D. Wayne Lukas. He admitted that he likes the atmosphere at Pimlico so much he needed a horse to get in. Market King will be his record 44th starter. "I had to have an excuse. I looked down the shed row and said, 'He's probably the best excuse I've got.' I didn't have anything that can really run. I thought, 'I'll take him; he's pretty, he's got breeding.' [...] My biggest concern is if he can get 1 3/16. He's got a little speed and he'll get into it early. Bob (Baffert) and I and Mark Casse have won 13 Preaknesses between us. Bob's got 7, I've got 6, Mark's trying to get one. Between my rider Jon Court and myself we have 141 years of experience." Asked about his first Preakness win, when Codex upset Derby-winning filly Genuine Risk he said, "We had half the population of America against me. As soon as we beat the filly all the women in America hated me." Asked what would be a good crowd Saturday he said "If they get 100,000 here, 90% of them are not coming for the race. They're here for the block party out there (infield), they don't care about the race we're running. We get a lot of cameraderie here that you don't get at the Derby. We share a locker room, so to speak. There's a warmth here, the hospitality is second to none."
Alwaysmining was represented owners Greg and Caroline Bentley of Runnymede Racing LLC. Greg said, "This is the place to be. It all starts here in Maryland for our story with Alwaysmining. We are in the middle of it now and enjoying it a great deal."
Signalman was represented trainer Ken McPeek and his wife Sherri who he introduced as his favorite owner. Asked about the race moving to Laurel, McPeek said, "Certainly nothing I can control. If they move it, they move it -- upgrade and make it even better." Sherry added, "It would be like the Derby leaving Louisville." The horse was named for the breeder who was a signalman in the Navy, and took into account the sire General Quarters. Asked for an excuse if his horse loses, McPeek quipped "He hadn't run in 6 weeks so he needed the race!"
2019 Triple Crown quick links:
Belmont Stakes Entries - A field of 10 was entered for the 151st Belmont Stakes with Tacitus the 9-5 morning line favorite in post 9 and second choice War of Will next door in post 10. Get the entries, post positions, and free past performances here.
Belmont Stakes June 4 Photos - Preakness winner War of Will had his first gallop at Belmont Park Tuesday morning after schooling in the paddock. Check out photos here.
Belmont Stakes June 3 Photos - Preakness winner War of Will arrived at Belmont Park early Monday morning. Later in the morning, Bourbon War and Sir Winston both had gallops. Check out photos of each here.
Belmont Stakes June 1 Photos - Three of the Belmont Stakes contenders had timed works this morning at Belmont Park with Intrepid Heart going 5f in 1:00.92, Spinoff going 5f in 1:02.16, and Tax going 4f in 49.03. Check out photos of each here plus bonus Met Mile horses.
Belmont Stakes May 29 Photos - Four of the Belmont Stakes contenders were out on the track this morning at Belmont Park with Master Fencer breezing 5 furlong in 1:01.48 plus Intrepid Heart, Spinoff, and Tacitus galloping. Check out photos of each here.
Miscellaneous Preakness Photos - 21 more photos from Preakness day including Diplo parachuting in for his concert, the trophy being carried to the winner's circle, the Clydesdales, and more.
Preakness Undercard Stakes Results There were 8 other stakes on Preakness day headlined by the Dixie Stakes (G2) won by Catholic Boy, the Chick Lang Stakes (G3) won by Lexitonian, the Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) won by New York Central, and the Gallorette (G3) won by Mitchell Road. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 8 races here.
War of Will wins the Preakness (G1) - War of Will stalked the pace then found room on the inside to win the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths over longshot Everfast with Owendale third, giving jockey Tyler Gaffalione, trainer Mark Casse, and owner Gary Barber their first Triple Crown wins. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Black-Eyed Susan Day Results - Point of Honor ran down Ulele and Cookie Dough to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico on Friday. There were 6 other stakes on the card including the Pimlico Special (G3) won by Tenfold, the Allaire Dupont Distaff (G3) won by Mylady Curlin, and the Miss Preakness Stakes (G3) won by Covfefe. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 7 races here.
2019 Preakness Entries - A field of 13 was entered today for the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) with Improbable in post 4 the morning line favorite at 5-2. Check out the horses, post positions, odds, and free past performances here.
2019 Alibi Breakfast - The traditional Alibi Breakfast was held on Thursday May 16, before the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes. Connections of some of the 13 Preakness entrants were on hand to swap stories about their horse as well as watch the presentation of the annual awards.
Thursday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for 12 of the Preakness horses from Thursday morning with everyone on the track except Alwaysmining and Win Win Win who arrived late in the morning.
Wednesday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for 10 of the Preakness horses from Wednesday morning and afternoon at Pimlico, including Improbable arriving at the track.
Tuesday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for four of the Preakness horses from Tuesday afternoon at Pimlico, including War of Will, Market King, Bodexpress, and Signalman who arrived at the track today plus bonus pic of the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Preakness Weather Forecasts - What will the weather be for the Preakness? Check out several sources here. Currently looking pretty good with no rain unlike last year.
Analyzing the top Preakness Contenders - Our annual analysis of the contenders to see who best matches the profile of a Preakness winner. Not many Derby horses are making the trip to Baltimore, but it is one of them that gets top pick.
Kentucky Derby Undercard Stakes Results - There were 6 other stakes on the card today with the Derby, including the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) won by Bricks and Mortar, the Humana Distaff (G1) won by Mia Mischief, the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) won by Beau Recall, the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) won by Mitole, the American Turf (G2) won by Digital Age, and the Pat Day Mile (G3) won by Mr. Money. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Serengeti Empress rules in the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Serengeti Empress went to the front and never looked back, winning the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) by 1 3/4 lengths over late closing longshot Liora with Lady Apple third. Favorite Bellafina finished fifth. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results - There were 5 other stakes on the card today with the Oaks, including the La Troienne (G1) won by She's a Julie, the Alysheba (G2) won by McKinzie, the Eight Belles (G2) won by Break Even, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) won by World of Trouble, and the Edgewood Stakes (G3) won by Concrete Rose. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Thursday Kentucky Derby Photos - Thursday morning at Churchill Downs wasn't as crowded, perhaps because of the rain overnight. Not all the Derby horses and Oaks fillies were out this morning, with Haikal being treated for a foot abcess. Check out photos for 18 Derby horses and 12 Oaks fillies with comments.
Kentucky Derby Entries - Tuesday morning entries closed for the 145th Kentucky Derby with a full field of 20 plus one also-eligible. Morning line favorite is now Game Winner at 9-2 after the scratch of Omaha Beach. Get the horses, morning line odds, free past performances, and lots more info here.
Wednesday Kentucky Derby Photos - Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs was even more crowded on the backside with Derby fans now that all the Derby and Oaks horses are on the grounds. All 21 Derby horses and 15 Oaks fillies were out this morning, including the new arrivals. Update: As of 6:30pm, Omaha Beach will be scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis! Check out photos for each with comments.
Tuesday Kentucky Derby Photos - Tuesday was my first morning at Churchill Downs and the backside was more crowded than usual with Derby fans to see the horses at 7:30am. 14 Derby horses and 14 Oaks fillies were out this morning, including Derby favorite Omaha Beach and Oaks favorite Bellafina. Check out photos for each with comments.
2019 Kentucky Oaks Entries - A full field of 14 with 2 also-eligibles was drawn for the 145th Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run on Friday at Churchill Downs. Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner Bellafina is the 2-1 morning line favorite from post 4. Get all the horses, posts, and free past performances here.
2019 Kentucky Derby Analysis - Our annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year it is a pretty wide open field and the order shows that.
Kentucky Derby Notes for 4/29 - Monday morning was still cold but not as gloomy at Churchill Downs and only one Derby horse, Long Range Toddy, and one Oaks filly, Restless Rider, had timed works. Shortly after noon, Bellafina arrived from California. Check out comments and photos for the Derby and Oaks horses, free past performances, probable starters for the rest of the Derby weekend stakes, and more. Previous: 04/20, 04/21, 04/22, 04/23, 04/24, 04/25, 04/26, 04/27, 04/28
2019 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules with no onsite parking were enforced in 2018, and are in effect again this year. Be sure to read the rules if you are attending. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Kentucky Derby Prep Races - What races should a horse prep in to win the Kentucky Derby? Some races may seem obvious, but have not produced a Derby winner in many years. Find out which races are the best preps here.
Kentucky Derby Winners and Auction Prices - Bigger may seem better, but in the case of Kentucky Derby horses who sold at auction, less is more. Here is a look at how (badly) high priced auction purchases have done in the Kentucky Derby and the auction prices for this year's top Derby contenders.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2019 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks. Revamped for 2019 with updated info.
Kentucky Derby Traditions - Find out all about the big Derby Traditions: the rose garland, the trophy, the Twin Spires, mint juleps, singing "My Old Kentucy Home", fancy hats, celebrities and the annual Derby glasses.
Fillies in the Kentucky Derby - a look at the 39 fillies who have contested the Run for the Roses and how they did. So far there have been 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 5 thirds.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.