By Mint Julep

Always Dreaming Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

kentucky derby winner 2017 always dreaming

Always Dreaming, the talented American racehorse born on February 25, 2014, made a big splash in horse racing by winning the Florida Derby and the famous Kentucky Derby in 2017. Todd Pletcher trained him and he was owned by a group of people including MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola, St. Elias Stable, Siena Farm, and West Point Thoroughbreds. After his triumph at the Derby, Always Dreaming faced tough competition in races like the Preakness Stakes before retiring in 2018. His legacy lives on through offspring like Saudi Crown who have excelled on the racetrack thanks to his impressive mix of speed and stamina influences.

Early Life and Family Background

Always Dreaming was born on February 25, 2014 in the good old U.S.A. His family tree goes back to some impressive ancestors like Bodemeister and Above Perfection. The folks at Santa Rosa Partners were behind breeding this American Thoroughbred racehorse, who got his speed and stamina genes from those legendary relatives.

But Always Dreaming’s story is more than just about his lineage. It’s a tale of talent and hard work paying off over time. Every time he raced, he wasn’t just running because of his family history; he had a fire inside him that pushed him to go faster every day.

With each beat of his hooves on the track, Always Dreaming showed grit and determination. Training sessions were tough – like jumping hurdles one after another – needing all his effort, focus, and belief in himself to get through them. From early morning workouts till late evenings under colorful skies on grassy tracks; every moment shaped him into a fierce competitor.

Besides genetics came teamwork with trainers like Todd Pletcher pulling together strength and strategy for this amazing horse athlete. Their partnership was smooth as a dance where trust mixed with skill led them to shared wins amid roaring crowds at stadiums.

In the midst of excited fans cheering wildly as races unfolded before their eyes; Always Dreaming charged towards greatness creating tales of victory that would be remembered by racing enthusiasts for years to come

Introduction to Racing

Always Dreaming made a splash in the horse racing world with his incredible speed and determination, establishing himself as a rising star among Thoroughbreds. Todd Pletcher spotted his talent early on and took on the challenge of shaping this promising colt into a champion. His exceptional performances as a two-year-old hinted at the greatness that lay ahead on the big stage of horse racing.

The road to success wasn’t without its obstacles, but Always Dreaming faced each challenge head-on with determination and grace. Under Pletcher’s guidance, his training regimen polished his skills and enhanced his natural abilities, turning him into a strong contender on the track. The bond between trainer and horse grew stronger through trust, dedication, and mutual respect.

As excitement built up before major races, fans eagerly anticipated Always Dreaming’s next thrilling run towards victory. Every stride he took displayed power and precision, captivating audiences as they heard every thunderous hoofbeat reverberating through prestigious racetracks nationwide. The competitive spirit drove him to exceed expectations time after time, creating unforgettable moments that will forever be remembered in racing history.

Ownership dynamics played a crucial role in shaping Always Dreaming’s legacy by showcasing how passion for sports combined with strategic decision-making can lead to success. The team behind this remarkable colt navigated challenges confidently while celebrating triumphs that secured their position among top competitors in the racing industry. Their unwavering support propelled Always Dreaming toward extraordinary accomplishments that touched hearts far beyond just one memorable Kentucky Derby win.

With each race won and record shattered, Always Dreaming proved repeatedly that dreams can indeed come true when met with unyielding determination and relentless effort. His journey from humble beginnings to becoming a household name demonstrates what it takes to overcome odds fearlessly conquer obstacles while soaring to unbeatable heights—all while embodying elegance paired with raw power that leaves spectators awestruck.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. They inspire and captivate crowds with their extraordinary accomplishments

  2. Their success sets a great example for young athletes and dreamers

  3. They spark enthusiasm and curiosity in the world of horse racing

  4. They make enduring memories that will be cherished for decades

  5. They demonstrate the importance of hard work, commitment, and collaboration

  6. Their influence leaves behind a powerful legacy that motivates upcoming generations


  1. The possibility of getting hurt or having to quit, which can impact how well they do and their future in the field

  2. Feeling pressured to keep doing well and meet really high expectations

  3. Dealing with a lot of attention from the media that gets into their personal life and privacy

  4. The physical strain from training and competing that can affect their health

  5. Racing careers don't last forever, so they might have to stop early

  6. Facing potential controversies or scandals that could damage how people see them

Ownership and Training Transitions

Always Dreaming’s journey took a significant turn when he switched trainers from Dominick Schettino to Todd Pletcher in September 2016. This change was a game-changer for the colt, as Pletcher is known for his skill in getting top-class Thoroughbreds ready for big races.

The ownership of Always Dreaming was quite complex, involving MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola, St. Elias Stable, Siena Farm, and West Point Thoroughbreds working together. These partnerships often bring different viewpoints and resources to help talented racehorses like Always Dreaming succeed.

Under Todd Pletcher’s guidance and with support from his group of owners, Always Dreaming thrived on the track. The collaboration between trainer and owners played a vital role in maximizing the colt’s potential as he prepared for his historic run at the Kentucky Derby.

The combination of effective training methods from Pletcher’s barn and the collective wisdom and backing from passionate owners created a strong foundation that pushed Always Dreaming toward success. It demonstrated how teamwork among various groups can lead to remarkable achievements in the intricate world of horse racing.

Triple Crown Triumphs

Always Dreaming had some big wins in 2017, like the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby. Winning at Churchill Downs was a huge deal because it put him in the running for the Triple Crown.

Always Dreaming started out showing off his skills early on. Todd Pletcher trained him, and he’s really good with top racehorses. Always Dreaming was super fast and had great endurance throughout his career.

With jockey John Velazquez by his side, Always Dreaming stayed cool under pressure during important races. Their teamwork showed how much trust and connection there can be between a horse and rider, which helped them succeed together.

Behind every awesome Thoroughbred is a group of owners who support them financially and emotionally. The people behind Always Dreaming were all about helping him become a champion racer.

Winning at Churchill Downs wasn’t just about one race – it was also about hard work, dedication, and believing you can achieve greatness no matter what challenges come your way. Always Dreaming’s journey proves that with perseverance, bouncing back from setbacks, and having passion for reaching new goals in horse racing is totally possible!

Racehorse Profile Highlights: Key Details Revealed

Attribute Information
Sire Bodemeister
Grandsire Empire Maker
Dam Above Perfection
Damsire In Excess (IRE)
Sex Colt
Foaled February 25, 2014
Country United States
Colour Dark bay or brown
Breeder Santa Rosa Partners
Owner MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St. Elias (Vincent Viola), Siena Farm and West Point
Trainer Todd Pletcher
Record 11: 4-2-2
Earnings $2,415,860[1]
Major wins Florida Derby (2017) American Triple Crown wins: Kentucky Derby (2017)
Foaled Name
2020 Saudi Crown

Performance Beyond the Kentucky Derby

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming faced a mix of successes and setbacks in his journey. Despite finishing eighth in the Preakness Stakes, he bounced back by competing in prestigious races like the Jim Dandy Stakes and Travers Stakes. This proved that his initial win at the Kentucky Derby was not just luck.

Following his triumph at Churchill Downs, Always Dreaming encountered tough competition from rivals like Classic Empire and Cloud Computing. However, he continued to showcase his racing skills in subsequent events, captivating fans with his unwavering determination on the racecourse.

Throughout the ups and downs of post-Derby performances, Always Dreaming’s legacy remained strong as he pushed himself beyond Churchill Downs. His grit and spirit were evident as he conquered various racetracks across the nation, leaving spectators amazed by his perseverance.

While some doubted whether Always Dreaming could replicate his Derby victory, he repeatedly showed that he was more than a one-time winner. With each race after that memorable day at Churchill Downs, he solidified himself among Thoroughbred racing greats through hard work and dedication.

As Always Dreaming navigated post-Derby competitions’ challenges smoothly despite being an adult who completed their Sophomore Year: Age 19-20 years old., one thing stayed constant – his unrelenting passion for horse racing. Beyond any single win or loss lay a tale of continuous pursuit towards excellence on every stride taken on those legendary tracks where dreams come true and champions emerge.

Retirement and Stud Career

When Always Dreaming retired from racing in 2018, it marked a big change for the talented colt. He left behind his competitive days and started a new journey at WinStar Farm to become a stud. Going from racing to breeding can be a mix of emotions for both the horse and owner, as it closes one chapter and opens up another full of excitement and possibilities.

At WinStar Farm, Always Dreaming became a stallion among other top horses. His stud fee was $25,000 for the 2019 season, reflecting his family history and achievements on the track. Breeders were eager to have their foals inherit his strong genes, so Always Dreaming settled into his new role with green fields around him and mares ready to welcome his offspring.

Always Dreaming’s impact went beyond just racing; he played a crucial role in shaping future generations of Thoroughbreds. Every foal sired by him carried hints of his speed, endurance, and spirit – qualities that had fans cheering during races. Although he no longer competed himself, Always Dreaming’s influence could still be felt through pedigrees worldwide as breeders made sure his legacy endured alongside other legendary sires who shaped breeding programs everywhere.

Mythical Tales and Fascinating Trivia Surrounding Always Dreaming

  1. ### Exciting Stories and Fun Facts About Always Dreaming

  2. **Where the Name Comes From**: Always Dreaming got his name from his trainer, Todd Pletcher, who often motivated the team to aim high and dream big.

  3. **Chasing Triple Crown Glory**: In 2017, after winning the Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming set his sights on capturing the elusive Triple Crown title. Although he fell short of this goal, his thrilling victory at Churchill Downs remains a standout moment in racing history.

  4. **Overcoming Post-Derby Hurdles**: Following his Kentucky Derby triumph, Always Dreaming encountered challenges in subsequent races as he struggled to match his previous stellar performance. This serves as a reminder of how unpredictable horse racing can be and the difficulty of staying at peak performance levels.

  5. **Florida Derby Triumph**: His win in the Florida Derby before heading to the Kentucky Derby highlighted him as a top contender with immense potential. This win reinforced his image as a talented and promising racehorse.

  6. **Speedy Legacy Lives On**: Despite facing setbacks along the way, Always Dreaming's legacy endures as that of a swift and determined competitor. His journey showcases both highs and lows in horse racing while captivating fans with its remarkable narrative.

Progeny Successes

Always Dreaming’s descendants are proving to be stars in the racing world, carrying on his impressive legacy. In 2023, Saudi Crown showed his talent by winning the prestigious Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. This victory not only highlighted Saudi Crown’s skills but also confirmed Always Dreaming’s lasting impact on future generations at the track.

The success of Always Dreaming’s offspring showcases their exceptional breeding and racing abilities that define their sire’s legacy. Each time these descendants race down the homestretch with determination, they carry forward a tradition started by their famous father. Saudi Crown’s triumph at a major event like the Pennsylvania Derby demonstrates both his own strength and the remarkable genetic traits inherited from Always Dreaming.

Fans are eagerly looking forward to upcoming races where Always Dreaming’s progeny will compete, filled with excitement and hope for more victories reminiscent of their champion bloodline origins. Watching these young racers create their own paths while honoring their father’s legacy brings an exciting narrative that goes beyond just competition – it becomes a story of tradition, ambition, and unwavering spirit passed down through generations on revered racetracks worldwide.

Pedigree Analysis

Always Dreaming comes from a line of top-notch horses, with Bodemeister and Above Perfection in his family tree. These impressive ancestors not only pass on their names but also their winning attitude to Always Dreaming, setting him up for success in his racing career. The influences of Empire Maker and In Excess (IRE) add even more depth to this pedigree, blending speed and endurance qualities that would shape Always Dreaming’s performances on the race track.

In horse racing, a horse’s bloodline plays a big role in determining its potential as an athlete. For Always Dreaming, his family history was like a map guiding him towards success and showcasing the excellence that runs through generations before him. With well-known relatives such as Bodemeister and Above Perfection, expectations were high for greatness – expectations that he would go on to meet with flying colors during his races.

The story of Always Dreaming vividly demonstrates how both nature and nurturing influenced his journey. His breeding wasn’t just about inheriting good genes from prestigious ancestors; it was about honing those genetic gifts through careful training, expert care, and unwavering dedication from everyone involved in shaping his career path.

As he raced towards victory at Churchill Downs, Always Dreaming embodied more than just natural talent – he represented years of selective breeding aimed at producing champions. Each step he took along that famous track carried echoes of past successes by horses whose blood ran through him – creating a legacy beyond individual achievements.

Analyzing Always Dreaming’s lineage after winning the Kentucky Derby reveals not just a list of famous names but also shows how each generation shapes the next one in pursuit of glory on the racetrack. His ancestry stands as proof that triumph often has deep roots while being driven forward by determination fueled by dreams waiting to come true.


1. How did Always Dreaming's training regimen contribute to his success in the Kentucky Derby?

The intense training program of Always Dreaming was key to his triumph at the Kentucky Derby. The regimen aimed at boosting his endurance and speed, all while keeping his competitive drive strong, ultimately led him to victory.

2. What role did jockey John Velazquez play in Always Dreaming's victory at Churchill Downs?

Jockey John Velazquez skillfully led Always Dreaming to a clear win at Churchill Downs, demonstrating his impressive talent and strong bond with the talented colt.

3. Who were the key figures behind Always Dreaming's ownership and how did they impact his racing career?

MeB Racing Stables and Teresa Viola Racing teamed up to lead the ownership of Always Dreaming, while trainer Todd Pletcher skillfully guided his career towards success on the racetrack.

4. What challenges did Always Dreaming face leading up to the Kentucky Derby, and how were they overcome?

Trainer Todd Pletcher expertly guided Always Dreaming through tough training and behavior issues. With the support of his ownership team, the horse conquered these challenges and ultimately triumphed in the Kentucky Derby.

5. How did Always Dreaming's performance in the Kentucky Derby compare to his subsequent races post-victory?

Always Dreaming had a remarkable run at the Kentucky Derby, but he found it tough to maintain that success in the races that followed his big win.

6. What lasting impact has Always Dreaming had on the world of Thoroughbred racing since his iconic win at the Kentucky Derby?

Always Dreaming's victory in the Kentucky Derby not only secured his spot in racing history but also ignited a fresh wave of excitement for the sport, motivating a new group of fans and enthusiasts to delve into the exhilarating realm of Thoroughbred racing.