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2012 Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico


Trainer Bob Baffert

Trainer Bob Baffert shows off his nitroglycerin pills which he thought he might need during the running of the Derby.

© Cindy Pierson Dulay

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.

Bob Baffert, trainer of morning line favorite Bodemeister said, “He reminds me of Bode Miller, the way he skis downhill. They’re all different. He’s one of those horses that shows you more in the afternoons than he does in the mornings. Every time I watch the Derby replay, I keep waiting for him to hit the skids, but he didn’t. We just got beat by a better horse, so we’ve come here to see if we can turn the tables. It’s going to be a great race. The California horses I feel are the really good horses. Creative Cause is a really good horse. He beat Bodemeister on the square (San Felipe). That’s one of the reasons we went to the Arkansas Derby, was to get away from those horses. Their form has really stood up. It’s nice to be back at Pimlico. It’s my favorite stop on the Triple Crown trail. Win, lose, or draw you always leave here feeling good and that’s really important. The Pimlico staff is great and they really take care of the horseman."

Doug O'Neill, trainer of Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another said, “He’s training fantastic. I think anybody who has had a chance to watch him gallop can see how special of an individual he is. He’s loving Pimlico and his energy has been great. We’re ready.”

D. Wayne Lukas, trainer of Optimizer, and looking for his sixth Preakness (his last being Charismatic in 1999) said, “These horses, sometimes they don’t fit every scenario. A lot of them won’t pass every test and that’s what makes it so unpredictable and so exciting. But this guy has passed on two turns, different surfaces, different barns. I think he fits. He has the energy level and it looks like he can come back in two weeks. I think experience is paramount.”

Mike Harrington, trainer of Creative Cause, was asked why he shipped the colt back to California first rather than go directly to Baltimore. He explained, "I like to sleep in my own bed, so I figure my horse would like to sleep in his own stall. If you look at the horse’s form he’s been right there in every race he’s run,” Harrington said. “He’s actually beaten the two favorites, so why wouldn’t I be confident?"

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