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Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Kentucky Derby hero Always Dreaming retired to WinStar Farm

Son of Bodemeister will commence second career at a fee of $25,000

Always Dreaming: his $350,000 yearling price-tag attests to his good looks
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Last year's Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby hero Always Dreaming has been retired from racing and will, as expected, join the stallion ranks at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.

A son of Bodemeister, Always Dreaming was trained by Todd Pletcher for owners Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St Elias Stables, MEB Racing Stables, Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds.

WinStar Farm, SF Bloodstock and China Horse Club joined the ownership group for the dark bay colt’s four-year-old season and stallion career.

“He was brilliantly fast, and he has everything you want in a stallion - looks, pedigree, and performance,” said Elliott Walden, president, CEO, and racing manager of WinStar Farm.

“We dream about the Kentucky Derby every day, but the race I really liked was the Florida Derby. When I saw the teletimer, I was amazed.

"We are excited to add a potentially breed-shaping stallion from the Unbridled line, which has proven to be today’s pre-eminent Classic sire line.”

Always Dreaming broke his maiden by an awesome 11½ lengths in the January of his three-year-old season and rattled off four consecutive victories, culminating with his triumph in the 143rd Kentucky Derby.

He had scored in the $1 million Florida Derby by a decisive five lengths on his stakes debut, running 1m1f in 1:47.47 - the fastest running of the race since Alydar in 1978.

That scintillating performance made Always Dreaming the favourite for the $2 million Kentucky Derby, which he won by two-and-three-quarter lengths, the largest margin of victory in the Run for the Roses in the last six years. 

“He was one of the most athletic horses I have ever trained,” said Pletcher. “He has a terrific bounce to him. I compare him to a panther; a fluid mover.”

SF Bloodstock's Tom Ryan said: “When we think about investing in a stallion, I want them to be athletic, fast and out of a top mare. Always Dreaming has it all.”

Bred in Kentucky by Gerry Dilger and Mike Ryan’s Santa Rosa Partners, Always Dreaming was a $350,000 Keeneland September Book 1 yearling from the first crop of Bodemeister.

He is out of the Grade 3-winning and Grade 1-placed In Excess mare Above Perfection and is a half-brother to Grade 1-winning juvenile Hot Dixie Chick.

Always Dreaming concludes his racing career with four wins from 11 starts, hitting the board in eight, having amassed earnings of $2,415,860.

He retires sound and has taken up residence at WinStar where he will begin his new career as a stallion in 2019 for a stud fee of $25,000.


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Vincent Viola preparing for Always Dreaming's stud career at WinStar

He was one of the most athletic horses I have ever trained
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