The Washington Times - May 19, 2011, 03:02PM

BALTIMORE | With Black-Eyed Susan drinks on every table and the traditional fare of fried chicken and more on plates around the room at Pimlico, Thursday morning’s Alibi Breakfast lived up to the reputation as the place for good stories.

It was an outing full of one-liners, and some heartfelt stories about the people and horses in this year’s Preakness. The good feeling had nothing to do with the drink that includes whiskey, vodka, sweet and sour mix and orange juice.


One of the longer shots on the board Saturday is the horse with the best name in the race: Norman Asbjornson. The horse’s namesake spoke at the breakfast.

“I came from a very rural area of the Montana where the horses outnumber the people,” Asbjornson said, happy to be around a lot of humans for the Preakness.

Mike Masiello of West Point Thoroughbreds stole the show when talking about King Congie’s namesake, Congie DeVito, whose life battling a rare bone disease ended in February after succumbing to a lung ailment.

Masiello choked up as he told the story of DeVito, who named the then-scrawny horse after himself – well before King Congie became Triple Crown-worthy.

“He was such an outspoken, wonderful, positive personality,” Masiello said. “Maybe the most wonderful personality I’ve ever met.”

(More on DeVito and King Congie on coming soon)

Mucho Macho Man’s trainer, Kathy Ritvo, also was a subject of some heartfelt conversation. She underwent a heart transplant 2 ½ years ago and is just happy to be on the Triple Crown trail.

“It makes me appreciate every day,” she said. “I don’t believe anyone will enjoy this experience any more than me.”