July 25, 2024

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Preakness tradition Alibi Breakfast back after 2 years off

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Black-Eyed Susan cocktails were flowing, D. Wayne Lukas was telling jokes and factors ultimately felt fully again to typical at Previous Hilltop.

Though the Kentucky Derby winner isn’t at the Preakness, the custom of the Alibi Breakfast returned Thursday to Pimlico Race Study course just after a two-calendar year absence for the reason that of the pandemic. The function has advanced from its origins in the 1930s but nonetheless brings house owners, trainers and other horsemen together for rooster and waffles in the kind of peaceful, lighthearted ambiance the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown is known for just after the intensity of the Derby.

“Everybody lightens up a minimal little bit,” said Lukas, the 86-calendar year-aged Corridor of Fame trainer who is aiming for a history-tying seventh Preakness victory with filly Key Oath. “When you get via the Derby, everybody exhales and thinks, ‘Well Okay, now which is over’ and they begin coming in this article. And the camaraderie of everybody sharing the locker room, it alterations the complete dynamic of the total detail.”

Years back, the Alibi Breakfast gave homeowners and trainers the chance to boast about their horses and deliver cheeky explanations why they may well not win. In 2019, Lukas zinged trainer Mark Casse by saying they blended with Bob Baffert for 29 Triple Crown victories: 14 for Lukas and 15 for Baffert.

Casse joined the club two days later, generating it 30 by profitable the Preakness with War of Will. “We kissed him appropriate in,” Lukas reported.

This year, Lukas poked a bit of enjoyment at fellow coach Kenny McPeek — but mostly himself.

“Coming back right here ages me a tiny bit,” he explained. “There’s three signs of outdated age: The first a person is decline of memory. I can not recall the other types.”

Saffie Joseph, who produced his Preakness debut with Ny Traffic in 2020 when the race was operate in October with out followers, did not even know the custom existed.

“Last time it had none of this,” Joseph stated. “It was the best. (Lukas) experienced all those people jokes. It was much better than going to a comedy present. He cracks everyone up, and it is good to hear to all these stories.”

Altering GEARS

Seconds soon after 80-1 extensive shot Prosperous Strike won the Kentucky Derby, the wheels have been turning in Lindsay Schanzer’s head about how to tell that unlikely story at the Preakness. She wondered, “How speedy can we get a crew down to Kentucky to tell the story of Eric Reed and what he went through, meet up with Sonny Leon, who men and women seriously experienced by no means read of ahead of.”

When owner Rick Dawson made a decision to abandon the prospect at a Triple Crown and not operate Loaded Strike in the Preakness, NBC Sports’ senior horse racing producer experienced to adjust her designs. It’s one thing she has gotten employed to, especially soon after 2021 Derby winner Medina Spirit analyzed beneficial for a substance not permitted on race working day in Kentucky and Baffert’s absence forged a shadow about the occasion a year ago.

Lukas moving into Key Oath delivered a new target.

“That’s what I’m most fired up about,” Schanzer reported. “We never actually get an possibility often to explain to a tale of a filly heading up towards the boys.”

YAKTEEN’S Change

A person horse formerly qualified by Baffert is operating in the Preakness for new coach Tim Yakteen. Armagnac was a late entry into the race and does not have virtually the strain nor the expectations of Derby horses Taiba and Messier, who Yakteen also inherited from the two-time, Triple Crown-profitable coach.

Baffert is at present serving a suspension in Kentucky for treatment violations that is staying noticed by Maryland and quite a few other states. Yakteen is in charge of Armagnac at Pimlico.

“Completely distinctive setting, unique weather,” he claimed. “I’m psyched to be here.”

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Follow AP Sporting activities Author Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhynoHorses

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