By Mint Julep

Kentucky Derby Winner 2017 Always Dreaming

kentucky derby winner 2017 always dreaming

In this exciting story, we’ll delve into the world of horse racing and celebrate Always Dreaming’s thrilling victory at the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Join us as we follow jockey John Velazquez’s skillful ride, trainer Todd Pletcher’s clever strategies, and the joyful celebrations of the group that owns this amazing colt. Let’s also look back at how Always Dreaming made history by winning amidst a trend where favorites have been dominating the prestigious Kentucky Derby since the late-1890s.

Background of Kentucky Derby Winner 2017 Always Dreaming

The thrilling victory of Always Dreaming in the 2017 Kentucky Derby had hearts racing and pulses pounding at Churchill Downs. Guided expertly by jockey John Velazquez, Always Dreaming displayed a burst of speed that left his competitors far behind. Trainer Todd Pletcher, renowned for his meticulous preparation and sharp eye for talent, worked wonders with this talented colt to ensure he was fully prepared for the Run for the Roses.

The diverse ownership group behind Always Dreaming consisted of passionate racing enthusiasts who shared a dream of Derby glory. MeB Racing Stables, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola Racing Stable, St. Elias Stable, Siena Farm & West Point Thoroughbreds came together as a formidable team supporting their prized contender every step of the way. Their collective passion and unwavering backing played a vital role in propelling Always Dreaming towards his remarkable triumph on that historic day in May.

In an era where favorites were expected to dominate America’s most famous horse race year after year like clockwork, Always Dreaming added another exciting chapter to that narrative with his resounding victory. The streak continued unabated in 2017 as this talented colt surged across the finish line first amid thunderous cheers from adoring fans packed into Churchill Downs’ grandstands. His win not only carved out a place for him among legends who had conquered the fabled track before him but also brought dreams vividly alive on that unforgettable spring afternoon.

Qualification for the Kentucky Derby

The journey to the 2017 Kentucky Derby was filled with determination and grit as twenty top horses competed for their spot in the prestigious event. Among these contenders were well-known names like Classic Empire, Irish War Cry, and Gormley, each showing off their skills on the racetrack during the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. The competition was intense, with every hoofbeat carrying hopes of glory down that famous Churchill Downs stretch.

As excitement grew leading up to race day at Churchill Downs, Always Dreaming stood out as a favorite among fans and experts alike. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by talented jockey John Velazquez, this powerful team had been catching attention with impressive performances before the Run for the Roses. With a mix of speed, endurance, and heart all coming together perfectly on race day, Always Dreaming embodied what it means to strive for greatness in one of horse racing’s most renowned events.

In an impressive demonstration of dominance amidst a field full of talent and ambition at Churchill Downs that year: Always Dreaming showed why he wasn’t just another contender—he was destined for greatness. As they thundered down that final stretch under Velazquez’s expert guidance—leaving rivals behind like scattered hay in a barnstorm—Always Dreaming not only clinched victory but also captured hearts worldwide. With Todd Pletcher’s skillful training techniques honed through years of experience combined with John Velazquez’s flawless timing aboard his trusty equine sidekick—the stage was set for an unforgettable moment etched into Kentucky Derby history forevermore.

The Pros & Cons of Triple Crown Contenders


  1. Likely to create history

  2. More media coverage and involvement from fans

  3. Growth in the horse racing industry and general interest in the sport

  4. Chance for valuable sponsorship opportunities

  5. Increased likelihood of breeding rights becoming more profitable

  6. Platform to display outstanding talent and skill


  1. The horse, jockey, and trainer face intense pressure.

  2. Injuries or setbacks can occur during the challenging races.

  3. Exhaustion sets in from competing in multiple high-stakes events close together.

  4. Top contenders provide fierce competition.

  5. The physical and mental well-being of the horse is strained.

  6. Disappointment looms if securing the Triple Crown proves elusive.

Field and Post Positions

Entries for the Derby were accepted on May 3, with Classic Empire favored as the top choice at post position 14. Always Dreaming drew post number 5 while McCraken was positioned in gate number 15.

This year’s Kentucky Derby field featured a strong lineup of contenders, including experienced champions and up-and-coming stars competing at Churchill Downs. With Classic Empire leading from post 14 and Always Dreaming snugly placed in gate 5, excitement mounted as fans eagerly anticipated what promised to be an exciting race.

Post positions often play a crucial role in determining a horse’s success on race day. Finding an advantageous spot along the rail or maneuvering through traffic can make all the difference between winning and falling short. The strategic placement of horses like McCraken in post position 15 added more intrigue to this competitive field.

As each contender settled into their starting gates, trainers and jockeys carefully planned their strategies for navigating the challenging mile-and-a-quarter course ahead. For Todd Pletcher, who trained Always Dreaming, securing gate number 5 provided a solid foundation for potential victory under Churchill Down’s iconic twin spires.

Renowned jockey John Velazquez prepared to guide Always Dreaming towards triumph once again using his skillful expertise honed over years of experience. With numerous accolades to his name, Velazquez was ready to lead his equine partner against tough competition.

The intense drama unfolding within this star-studded field combined with favorable post positions heightened spectators’ anticipation leading up to “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” As horses thundered down the track on Derby day with dreams soaring high and destiny beckoning beyond that final turn,

Always Dreaming emerged victorious not just as a winner but also symbolizing hope realized against formidable odds—a testament not only to one horse but also reflecting collective effort spanning owners’, trainers’, jockeys’, and fans’ unwavering passion united by their shared love for racing excellence showcased beneath Kentucky skies where legends are born anew every springtime Saturday derby magic unfolds like clockwork ensuring legacy lives eternally among those daring enough always dreaming anew!

Race Description and Conditions

The victory of Always Dreaming in the 2017 Kentucky Derby was absolutely incredible. Despite facing a wet fast track that had been sealed due to heavy rain, this talented colt truly stood out on race day. The challenging weather conditions added an extra layer of excitement to the already intense atmosphere at Churchill Downs. Even with the bad weather, a huge crowd of 158,070 enthusiastic fans showed up to see history being made firsthand.

As Always Dreaming raced down the homestretch with jockey John Velazquez riding him, it was clear that something amazing was happening. The duo displayed outstanding teamwork and skill as they weaved through the pack with finesse and determination. Trainer Todd Pletcher’s careful preparation paid off as his prized horse showed unwavering focus and strength throughout the tough mile-and-a-quarter journey.

The TV broadcast reached an impressive Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 16.5 million viewers worldwide—a sign of how captivating and thrilling “the most exciting two minutes in sports” can be! Always Dreaming’s win captivated audiences far beyond those present at Churchill Downs, securing its place not only in racing history but also in popular culture for years to come.

In what can only be described as a perfect ending under less-than-ideal circumstances, Always Dreaming crossed the finish line first—another victory for favorites at America’s top horse racing event: The Kentucky Derby. This remarkable streak further solidifies this classic race’s reputation for unpredictability while showcasing unforgettable moments where dreams really do come true amidst rain from above and cheers all around—the makings of legends indeed!

2017 Kentucky Derby: Top Finishers Snapshot

Finish Post Horse Jockey Trainer Morning Line Odds Final Odds Margin (lengths) Winnings Points
1 5 Always Dreaming John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 5–1 4.70 +2+3/4 $1,635,800 100
2 1 Lookin At Lee Corey Lanerie Steve Asmussen 20–1 33.20 2+3/4 $400,000 32
3 11 Battle of Midway Flavien Prat Jerry Hollendorfer 30–1 40.00 7+3/4 $200,000 40
4 14 Classic Empire Julien Leparoux Mark Casse 4–1 6.80 8+3/4 $100,000 132
5 19 Practical Joke Joel Rosario Chad Brown 20–1 27.80 9+1/2 $60,000 74
6 16 Tapwrit José Ortiz Todd Pletcher 20–1 27.10 10+1/4 54
7 10 Gunnevera Javier Castellano Antonio Sano 15–1 10.00 13+1/4 84
8 15 McCraken Brian Hernandez Jr. Ian Wilkes 5–1 6.90 13+1/4 40
9 18 Gormley Victor Espinoza John Shirreffs 15–1 22.30 14+1/4 125
10 17 Irish War Cry Rajiv Maragh H. Graham Motion 6–1 4.80 16+1/2 110
11 8 Hence Florent Geroux Steve Asmussen 15–1 15.00 18+1/2 50
12 4 Untrapped Ricardo Santana Jr. Steve Asmussen 30–1 58.00 19+1/4 34
13 7 Girvin Mike E. Smith Joe Sharp 15–1 22.10 19+1/2 150
14 20 Patch Tyler Gaffalione Todd Pletcher 30–1 14.10 21 40
15 13 J Boys Echo Luis Saez Dale Romans 20–1 47.30 23 63
16 12 Sonneteer Kent Desormeaux J. Keith Desormeaux 50–1 39.70 26+1/4 30
17 3 Fast and Accurate Channing Hill Michael Maker 50–1 41.80 28+3/4 50
18 9 Irap Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 20–1 41.40 40+3/4 113
19 6 State of Honor Jose Lezcano Mark Casse 30–1 54.00 45+3/4 62
DNF 2 Thunder Snow Christophe Soumillon Saeed bin Suroor 20–1 16.40 100

Start of the Race

The beginning of the race at Churchill Downs was like a wild rollercoaster ride. When Thunder Snow suddenly refused to run, it shocked everyone in the crowd and made them worry about the colt’s safety. At the same time, Irish War Cry swerved unexpectedly towards other horses, causing chaos as they all fought for their positions. This created a tense situation that tested both horse skills and jockey abilities.

In all the confusion, Classic Empire got stuck between other horses because of Irish War Cry’s sudden move. The talented colt saw his Derby dreams fall apart early on as he struggled to recover from the turbulent start. Similarly, McCracken also faced challenges when caught up in the aftermath of Irish War Cry’s mistake, which led him off course into unfamiliar territory amidst a crowded field vying for position.

Jockey John Velazquez skillfully guided Always Dreaming through the chaotic start of the race with unwavering focus and determination. His expert handling ensured that they stayed clear of any trouble caused by surrounding commotion—a true display of expertise under pressure. Todd Pletcher’s thorough preparations were evident as Always Dreaming steadily surged ahead despite facing initial obstacles—showcasing resilience befitting champions on racing’s biggest stage.

Looking back, while some contenders stumbled during those hectic moments after leaving Churchill Downs’ starting gate that day – it was Always Dreaming who stood out strong amidst uncertainty—rising not just victorious but embodying strength and perseverance in overcoming typical Derby pressures!

Victory of Always Dreaming

In a burst of excitement, Always Dreaming raced down the track at Churchill Downs, stealing hearts and igniting dreams during the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Starting from post position five, this energetic colt found luck on his side as he charged out of the gate with fierce determination. Jockey John Velazquez expertly guided him, propelling Always Dreaming forward with unstoppable speed that impressed all who watched.

The colt’s performance was truly outstanding; he maintained a strong lead throughout the race while demonstrating remarkable stamina and skill. Every step seemed to confirm that Always Dreaming lived up to his name—chasing victory with relentless passion and unwavering determination. Despite facing tough competition from rivals like Lookin At Lee, he held his ground firmly until crossing the finish line with an impressive margin that left spectators in awe.

Under trainer Todd Pletcher’s guidance, Always Dreaming had been meticulously prepared for this moment—a chance to make history in horse racing. Pletcher’s strategic expertise shone through as he molded this exceptional talent into a true champion deserving of wearing the garland of roses at one of horse racing’s most prestigious events.

Owned by MeB Racing Stables LLC (Brooklyn Boyz Stables) alongside Teresa Viola Racing Stables et al., Always Dreaming wasn’t just pursuing his own dreams; he carried the hopes and aspirations of an entire team whose love for horse racing burned brightly like a guiding light on that unforgettable Derby day. Together, they celebrated an incredible victory—one that established their legacy among legends in The Run for the Roses’ storied history.

Dreamlike tales of Always Dreaming's Derby triumph

  1. Always Dreaming's Derby Win: A Fairytale Come True

  2. The owner's wife coined the name "Always Dreaming" based on her mantra, "I always dream big." This optimistic outlook resonated with the horse's journey to victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby.

  3. Todd Pletcher, a highly respected trainer in horse racing circles, honed Always Dreaming for success on the track through his expert guidance and strategic training methods.

  4. John Velazquez, a seasoned jockey with numerous wins in acclaimed races, skillfully guided Always Dreaming during their victorious run at the Kentucky Derby.

  5. Prior to conquering Churchill Downs, Always Dreaming showcased his prowess by clinching an impressive win at the Florida Derby – solidifying his position as a top contender for glory at one of America's most celebrated events in sports history.

  6. With triumph at the 2017 Kentucky Derby under its belt, Always Dreaming ascended to national stardom and emerged as one of its generation’s standout racers – showcasing talent, determination and unwavering support that propelled it towards unprecedented heights in its racing career.

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Success

Trainer Todd Pletcher made history in 2017 by winning the Kentucky Derby with Always Dreaming, a major achievement in his impressive career. He had previously won in 2010 with Super Saver, showing off his top-notch training skills once again as he guided Always Dreaming to victory at Churchill Downs. This win cemented his reputation as one of the best trainers in horse racing.

Pletcher’s meticulous attention to detail and strategic approach were clear throughout Always Dreaming’s journey to clinching the Garland of Roses. With Pletcher’s expert guidance, the talented colt displayed outstanding form and determination, standing out from tough competition. Pletcher’s ability to fine-tune every aspect of his horse’s preparation was crucial in securing victory on that memorable Derby day.

The partnership between trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez played a key role in Always Dreaming’s success at the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Their smooth collaboration and shared commitment to excellence were evident as they faced challenges on race day together. Velazquez skillfully rode Always Dreaming around Churchill Downs’ famous oval, demonstrating why he is considered one of thoroughbred racing’s finest jockeys.

Looking beyond individual achievements, Trainer Todd Pletcher recognized that success at such an esteemed event requires teamwork and unwavering dedication from all involved parties. His adept management style created an environment where owners Anthony Bonomo and Vincent Viola could dream big without limits. Together, they formed a strong partnership fueled by their love for horse racing and drive to achieve new heights on this grand stage of racing.

Jockey John Velazquez’s Triumph

Jockey John Velazquez’s Big Win

John Velazquez, a skilled jockey with loads of experience and many victories under his belt, once again showed off his talent at the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Riding Always Dreaming, he clinched his second win at Churchill Downs after previously winning aboard Animal Kingdom in 2011. The strong connection between the horse and rider was clear as Velazquez guided Always Dreaming to victory against tough competition.

The group of owners behind Always Dreaming included Anthony Bonomo from Brooklyn Boyz Stable, Mary Ellen Bonomo representing MeB Racing, Vincent Viola from St Elias Stable, and Teresa Viola from Teresa Viola Racing. This team brought together different backgrounds but shared a love for horse racing. Interestingly enough, it was Mary Ellen Bonomo who came up with the name “Always Dreaming” for their champion—a name full of hope and ambition tied to important moments in life.

Always Dreaming’s win added another exciting chapter to the history of the Kentucky Derby. From the late-1890s until 2017, favorites had been dominating this famous race—winning five times in a row! The consistent success of favored horses highlighted both how unpredictable and reliable horse racing can be on grand stages like Churchill Downs.

Velazquez’s smart tactics combined perfectly with trainer Todd Pletcher’s skills—an unbeatable partnership that shined on Derby Day as they overcame challenges to secure victory with Always Dreaming. Their teamwork led to an outstanding performance that left spectators amazed and other competitors trailing behind them.

With confetti falling around them amidst cheers echoing through Churchill Downs after their big win aboard Always Dreaming—the duo of jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher made their mark even deeper in Kentucky Derby history while inspiring dreams for future contenders hoping for glory under those famous twin spires.


1. How did Always Dreaming's performance in the 2017 Kentucky Derby compare to other recent winners?

Always Dreaming's incredible win at the 2017 Kentucky Derby really stood out for how well he raced and showed his determination. This victory helped him join the ranks of other recent champions, making it a memorable moment in a series of favorites winning at this big event.

2. What factors contributed to Always Dreaming's success in winning the Kentucky Derby under jockey John Velazquez?

Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby with jockey John Velazquez. They achieved this by combining exceptional talent, a well-executed race strategy, and expert training from Todd Pletcher.

3. How did trainer Todd Pletcher prepare Always Dreaming for the demanding 1 1/4 mile distance of the Kentucky Derby?

Trainer Todd Pletcher carefully trained Always Dreaming to improve his endurance and speed. He did this by organizing specific workouts and planning races strategically, getting the colt ready to conquer the challenging 1 1/4 mile distance of the Kentucky Derby with confidence and top form.

4. What was the ownership group's reaction to Always Dreaming's victory and what role did they play in his journey to the winner's circle?

Brooklyn Boyz Stables and Siena Farm, who were in charge of the ownership group, were absolutely thrilled when Always Dreaming won the 2017 Kentucky Derby. They had made smart choices and investments that helped the talented colt win with help from trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez.

5. In what ways did Always Dreaming's win impact his future racing career and legacy within the sport of horse racing?

Always Dreaming won the 2017 Kentucky Derby, which quickly boosted his fame and paved the way for a successful racing career. This victory firmly established him as a notable figure in horse racing history.

6. How did Always Dreaming's victory in 2017 contribute to the historical significance of post-time favorites dominating recent editions of the Kentucky Derby?

Always Dreaming won the 2017 Kentucky Derby, which continued the pattern of favorites winning in recent years. This victory highlighted the skill of trainer Todd Pletcher, jockey John Velazquez, and the ownership team in achieving a memorable win.