Always Dreaming to stand at WinStar Farm upon retirement
Three-year-old won the Florida Derby in the fastest time since Alydar
Always Dreaming, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby, is to stand at Winstar Farm upon his retirement, after the stud entered into an agreement to acquire the breeding rights of the dual Grade 1 winner.
"We are excited to add another potentially breed-shaping stallion from the dominant Unbridled line, which has proven to be today's preeminent Classic sire line," said Elliott Walden, WinStar president and chief executive.
"Always Dreaming has all three things we look for: looks, he was a $350,000 yearling; pedigree, he is out of a fast, Grade 1-level race mare and is a half to a Grade 1 winner; and performance, he's a brilliantly fast winner of two prestigious Grade 1 races this year, including the race everyone wants to win – the Kentucky Derby.
"He represents four straight generations of a sire line that finished first or second in the Kentucky Derby."
A decision on whether he will stand stud in 2018 or 2019 will be made following a veterinary exam. The three-year-old colt, from the first crop of WinStar stallion Bodemeister, is owned and campaigned by MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz et al.
Among the partners in Always Dreaming's future stallion career with WinStar are SF Bloodstock, China Horse Club, and Siena Farm.
"Always Dreaming is a very special horse, and we are excited about his future stallion career at WinStar," said co-owner Vinnie Viola. "We will continue the ride and support him with some great mares down the road.
"The combination of SF Bloodstock, China Horse Club, Siena Farm and WinStar Farm ensures a super partnership with access to some of the best broodmare bands in the world. This is a group that knows how to make leading sires, and we want to give Always Dreaming the best opportunity when he retires to stud."
A $350,000 Keeneland September yearling, Always Dreaming broke his maiden by 11 and a half lengths earlier this year in his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher, before going on to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby - in the fastest time since Alydar in 1978 - and the Run for the Roses in which he started as favourite and won by nearly three lengths.
Always Dreaming won four races and placed three times in nine career starts, and has earned more than $2.3 million in prize-money to date. Bred in Kentucky by Santa Rosa Partners, he is out of the Grade 3-winning In Excess I mare Above Perfection, and is a half-brother to Grade 1-winning juvenile Hot Dixie Chick.