If the trainers are to be believed, there will be an unprecedented number of first-place finishers in today's Preakness.
The horsemen - and one woman - took turns yesterday at the annual Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico, mostly telling why their entries are sure things. Dean Gaudet, who will saddle Speakerphone, was the only trainer not in attendance.
The breakfasts' traditionally held in the clubhouse after workouts, have evolved into a gathering for prominent members of the national racing fraternity.
But the trainers retain their historic confidence:
Agincourt: "He had a good 2-year-old year, and you always have to consider a good 2-year-old. I think he's coming into his own and should do pretty well," Nick Zito said.
Technology: "I need a small miracle, like the parting of the Red Sea," Sonny Hine said. The horse has been bedeviled by minor injuries all week.
Conte Di Savoya: "It's the first horse I have run in the Preakness that is more ferocious than me. If there is speed in the race, he will do well," LeRoy Jolley said.
Pine Bluff: "We're going to throw out the Kentucky Derby, which is a hell of a race to throw out. Pine Bluff's got the tactical speed he needs," Tom Bohannan said. The horse finished fifth at the Derby.
Big Sur: "This horse has been tough for me to put my finger on. He's got the talent, but some days we can't get it out of him. On given days, he belongs. On most days, he doesn't," D. Wayne Lukas said.
Careful Gesture: Trainer Elbert Dixon declined to make a prediction, but said the horse suddenly has become a hot item on the stud circuit.
My Luck Runs North: "It's a very good horse. He comes from
behind," Angel Medina said.
Casual Lies: "I think we should have won [the Derby], but the best horse clearly won. [Today,] we will win," Shelley Riley said. The horse finished second in the Derby.
Lil E. Tee: "I always thought that this was a colt that had a lot of talent. We're just hoping for a good trip," Lynn Whiting said.
Dash for Dotty: "If Wayne Lukas doesn't know . . . how the hell do you expect me to know [who will win]?" Bill Donovan said.
Fortune's Gone: "He's a big horse who will challenge," Angel Medina said.
Alydeed: "He's a quality horse. He's got a lot to overcome that he's never been around before. He's physically very well. But he's never been in a field this size, and he's never been in front of so many people," Roger Attfield said.
Dance Floor: "He will dance away with it," Lukas said.