Always Dreaming: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Always Dreaming is becoming a household name after his Kentucky Derby victory. (Getty)

Always Dreaming has slowly emerged as one of the best race horses in the world. Heading into the Preakness, Always Dreaming had won four straight races. Three of these wins came at Gulfstream Park including the Florida Derby where he started to generate buzz heading into the Kentucky Derby.

By the time Derby day hit, Always Dreaming entered the race as the favorite but there was a bit of a curve ball. It rained at Churchill Downs leaving a muddy track. Just like the Florida Derby, Always Dreaming ran out to the front and never looked back.

Brooklyn Boyz Stables has a winner on their hands. The horse has been propelled forward thanks to an experienced jockey and trainer combination. Trainer Todd Pletcher is one of the most decorated trainers in horse racing and has teamed up with jockey John Velazquez.

Learn more about Always Dreaming and the team around the horse.

1. The Horse Was Purchased for $350,000 by the Brooklyn Boyz Stables

According to Horse Racing Nation, the Brooklyn Boyz Stables purchased Always Dreaming for $350,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling auction. Always Dreaming’s sire is Bodemeister who was the 2012 runner up in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Horse Racing Nation notes the similarities Bodemeister has to American Pharoah, the last Triple Crown winner.

Bodemeister has similar breeding to our latest Triple Crown Champ. American Pharoah is by Pioneerof the Nile, a son of Empire Maker, out a mare by Storm Cat’s son Yankee Gentleman. The majority of Bodemeister’s offspring are expected to be later maturing and improve with racing and distance, so a classic winner wouldn’t be an unrealistic expectation from his first few crops.

Always Dreaming’s mother is Above Perfection who was a horse who spent her career racing in California. She has had 12 foals and seven of them are in racing. All seven have won races at some point in their careers.

2. The Name Always Dreaming Came From One of the Owners Propensity to Daydream

They key to having a legendary horse is having a good name. Always Dreaming’s name came courtesy of co-owner Anthony Bonomo’s wife, Marellen Bonomo, who admits she can lose herself in her imagination.

“I named the horse. I’m always daydreaming or dreaming about something and I thought why not name the horse Always Dreaming? Everybody dreams about something in their life whether it’s big events or a big race like this, the Kentucky Derby,” Maryellen Bonomo told NBC Sports after the Derby win.

The main partners of the Brooklyn Boyz ownership group are Anthony Bonomo and Vincent Viola, who is also the owner of the Florida Panthers. Bonomo ran one of New York’s largest malpractice insurance companies.

3. Always Dreaming Emerged as a Top Race Horse After Winning the 2017 Florida Derby

Always Dreaming entered the Florida Derby second in the odds but ended up winning the race comfortably. After winning the race, Always Dreaming emerged as a contender for the Kentucky Derby despite having run in less races than some of the more established favorites.

From there, the horse was not the favorite in the morning line odds for the Kentucky Derby but as bettors started pushing money towards Always Dreaming he became the favorite on race day. The horse has proven he can win on a variety of tracks and on the biggest stages. According to America’s Best Racing, Always Dreaming earned $2,260,600 in 2017 heading into the Preakness.

4. He Won the 2017 Kentucky Derby in Impressive Fashion

In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby, the betting public pushed Always Dreaming from one of the contenders to the race day favorite. There was twist and turns on Derby day as heavy rain pelted Churchill Downs. Always Dreaming did not have a lot of experience running in the mud but showed no signs of impediment during the race.

Like the Florida Derby, Always Dreaming got out front early and stayed ahead of the field for a comfortable win. Always Dreaming has been one of the faster horses during the 2017 race season and won the Derby with an official time of 2:03.59, a slower time than some Kentucky Derby races that can be explained by the bad weather.

5. Always Dreaming Has the Benefit of an Experienced Trainer-Jockey Combo in Todd Pletcher & John Velazquez

always dreaming, owner, name, earnings, cost

Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez celebrate the 2017 Kentucky Derby. (Getty)

There had been some skepticism over trainer Todd Pletcher’s track record in the Kentucky Derby. Although he had quite a few contending horses, he had only found the Winner’s Circle at Churchill Downs once prior to Always Dreaming winning the 2017 race.

Jockey John Velazquez knows he has something special on his hands.

“This is the best horse Todd and I have ever come to the Kentucky Derby with,” Velazquez told ESPN. “Being behind me for 24 years together, a long time for him to still trust in me and give me the opportunity, it’s not very often it happens in this business.”