The dream came true for Always Dreaming and his connections after winning the 143rd annual running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) this past weekend at Churchill Downs. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Joh Velazquez, Always Dreaming puled off a 2 3/4-length victory in 2:03.59 over runner-up Lookin At Lee in front of 158,070 spectators.
“Growing up as kids, we’ve won a lot of Kentucky Derbys, but not in reality,” said co-owner Anthony Bonomo. “We just knew when we got together something special was going to happen. It’s been a family affair.”
“We represent everybody who went to the racetrack with their dads and were astonished by these athletes and fell in love with them,” said co-owner. “We are truly kids, in our hearts, from the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. We always dreamed and this is one of the dreams that came true.”
A muddy track led to numerous changes leading up to the race in terms of landing on a true pre-race favorite. Thanks to a win in the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (9-1), Always Dreaming was tabbed the 9-2 favorite. The Kentucky Derby win was his fourth in as many starts in 2017. For Pletcher and Velazquez, it was their second Derby win each. Pletcher previously won with Super Saver in 2010 and Velazquez won on top of Animal Kingdom in 2011.
“My Derby record has been talked about a lot. … When you look at it now, we’ve been here 17 years and we’ve been fortunate to have two wins, two seconds, and three thirds,” said Pletcher. “I feel like I really needed that second one.”
Always Dreaming paid $11.40, $7.2, and $5.80 for the win. Runner-up Lookin At Lee Returned $26.60 and $15.20, with third-place finisher Battle of Midway paying $20.80. Always Dreaming has now earned $2,284,700 and will be pointed towards the Preakness Stakes (G1).