ALWAYS DREAMING PERFECT FOR THE DERBY?
This is the time when you have to fill in the answer to one of the more important questions of life. Blank is going to win the Kentucky Derby. There are twenty potential names to scribble so which horse do we back? Well, if we knew…it’d take all the fun out of it. Maybe the barn of Todd Pletcher has exactly the one you are looking for.
Always Dreaming certainly has the name going for him. The greatest sporting event in the world, and the sports world in general, is about the realization of dreams. You think LeBron and Mike Trout had visions as a kid of what they might become? The dream of the immortality a Kentucky Derby win brings is always in the minds of horsemen.
This striking runner has way more going for him than just a name. Always Dreaming has won his two starts as a three-year old including a very impressive Florida Derby victory on April 1 at Gulfstream Park. Running just off the early pace, the Pletcher trainee turned for home and bolted to the lead. Always Dreaming put the rest of the field in the sleeper hold as he rolled home to a four length win under jockey John Velazquez. His first stakes win was a huge one and it perhaps told everyone else what his conditioner already knew.
“There are a number of things to really like about this horse,” says Pletcher, winner of over 4,000 races as a trainer. “He really is the complete package of a race horse. He is aerodynamic, very versatile in his running style, has a good mind, and has a very efficient way of using himself. Always Dreaming has a lot of natural talents.”
A quick glance at the bloodlines of this Pletcher charge also tells us a little bit about him as well. Father Bodemeister was a front-running speed demon that turned in one of the greatest Arkansas Derby wins ever in 2012. Grandpappy Empire Maker was a fabulous runner that displayed plenty of stamina in capturing the 2003 Belmont Stakes. Great granddaddy Unbridled won the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1990 as an outstanding tactician. With the blood of these three pulsing through his veins, it is no wonder an outstanding trainer like Pletcher is high on this horse.
“We think he is a good combination of all three of those great runners,” says the former D. Wayne Lukas assistant. “The Kentucky Derby is one of those races where there is always more speed than it shows on paper so his ability to do different things will be tested. “
The 143rd Kentucky Derby is slated for May 6 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.