The Alibi Breakfast is a popular fixture of Preakness week festivities, starting in the late 1930s on the porch of the historical Pimlico Clubhouse when a group of trainers, owners, and other dignitaries would gather in the mornings to expound upon the merits of their horses. The Alibi Breakfast evolved from the original gathering to celebrate the event and solicit interesting race predictions.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez, turf writer Sean Clancy, photographer Patrick Smith and television executives Mark Viviano and Amy Zimmerman will be honored by the Maryland Jockey Club with this year's Preakness media awards.
Honorees will be recognized and awards presented at the May 15 Alibi Breakfast in the Terrace Dining Room at Pimlico Race Course. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET, two days prior to the middle leg of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Dominguez will be honored with the Special Award of Merit, which is presented to someone who has made a positive impact on the racing industry. Dominguez, who retired last June with 4,985 career victories and earnings of $191.6 million, was a regular rider at Pimlico and Laurel Park early in his career. The three-time Eclipse Award winner for outstanding jockey arrived in Maryland in 2000 and won 1,012 races at the major Maryland tracks over the next five years, including 297 victories in 2001. He earned his first grade I score when he guided A Huevo in the 2003 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash.
"I am very proud to be presented the Special Award of Merit," Dominguez said. "It has been an honor to be part of horse racing in Maryland, a place where I have great memories as well as friends that I will always treasure."
Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred reporter Sean Clancy is the recipient of the David F. Woods Award for his feature centering around jockey Gary Stevens' successful return to competition. Clancy becomes the first writer to win the award four times, previously earning the honor in 2004, 2007, and 2008. The Woods Award honors the best story for the previous year. Judging was done by Preakness notes team members Ed Gray, Mike Kane and Matt Graves.
Getty Images photographer Patrick Smith is the winner of the Jerry Frutkoff Preakness Photo Award, sponsored by Nikon. Smith captured a fist-pumping Stevens after Oxbow crossed the finish line first in last May's Preakness. Judging was completed by Nikon's Mark Kettenhofen and Maryland Jockey Club photographers Jim McCue and Jerry Dzierwinski.
The prestigious Old Hilltop Award will be bestowed upon WJZ-TV sports director Mark Viviano and HRTV executive producer and senior vice president Amy Zimmerman for covering Thoroughbred racing with excellence and distinction. Viviano will be working his 17th Preakness next month. Under Zimmerman's guidance, HRTV has either won or received honorable mention for the Eclipse Award for National Television Feature eight consecutive years.
The honorary postmaster for Preakness 139 Station is Laurel Park-based trainer Tim Keefe, who competed in Ironman Triathlons two of the past three years to help raise money for horse-related charities.
Baltimore radio personalities Scott Garceau and Keith Mills, former broadcast partners at WMAR-TV from 1987-2006, will host the event for the sixth consecutive year.