Always Dreaming Wins KY Derby
Dreams do come true. Always Dreaming was draped with roses following his win in the 143rd Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Owned by the partnership of MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz Stable, Teresa Viola, St Elias Stable, Siena Farm, and West Point Thoroughbreds and dispatched as the favorite, Always Dreaming had a dream stalking trip before taking command on the final turn and scoring decisively by two and three-quarter lengths.
After being deemed a “keg of dynamite” by trainer Todd Pletcher in the days leading up to the Derby, the colt was a pro on the walkover, in the paddock, and in the winner’s circle while wearing the blanket of roses.
Always Dreaming became the second Kentucky Derby winner for Pletcher, who saddled Super Saver in 2010. Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez have enjoyed much success together over the past 20+ years, but have always wanted to win the Run for the Roses together. Needless to say, the two were thrilled to achieve the elusive goal together.
“What a magical, emotional experience,” said West Point president Terry Finley. “It was very special seeing how excited and proud our Partners were while on the walkover with their colt. I felt so good when they loaded into the gate and felt even better around the first turn when I saw he relaxed so well. I’m forever grateful for the Violas and Bonomos for letting us join them on their journey with this remarkable horse. It’s pretty special that Vinnie (Viola) and Anthony (Bonomo) grew up together in Brooklyn and then stood on the Kentucky Derby podium with their families.”
Legendary track announcer Tom Durkin is part of the West Point partnership that owns a minority interest in the colt. Durkin was all smiles making his way across the sloppy track into the winner’s circle and took a few minutes to “smell the roses” in the infield.
“I did a lot of thinking in the hours leading up to the Derby,” added Terry. “Two things really stuck with me -- the power of family and the power of partnerships. I’m so thankful my wife and kids were there beside me during the Kentucky Derby. It also brings a smile to my face to think about the loyal West Point Partners whose dream of winning the Kentucky Derby came true. My hope is more of our Partners get an opportunity to experience the insane exhilaration that came after winning the Kentucky Derby. WPT owes everything to our horses and Partners. We'll never forget that.”
Always Dreaming is now being pointed for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday, May 20 at Pimlico in Baltimore.