Always Dreaming could be a new horse on the 2017 Triple Crown Trail after the 3-year-old Bodemeister colt came home an 11 1/2-length winner in a Tampa Bay Downs maiden special weight affair Wednesday in his 2017 debut.
After a pair of sprint starts last summer, Always Dreaming got a break from the races and was turned over to trainer Todd Pletcher following a private sale. Stretching out to two turns, the striking dark bay bided his time between horses for the first six furlongs, then began to edge clear on the turn. John Velazquez gave him his cue at the top of the stretch, and Always Dreaming was suddenly five lengths in front of the field and continued to widen until he hit the wire (VIDEO
The final time of 1:40.54 for the 1 mile and 40 yards was just a little over a second off the track record.
Always Dreaming is out of Grade 3 winner Above Perfection and is a half-brother to Spinaway S. (G1) winner Hot Dixie Chick. He was bred in Kentucky by Santa Rosa Partners and sold for $350,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Besides Always Dreaming, Bodemeister's first crop of promising 3-year-olds includes American Anthem, who was a very close second in the Jan. 7 Sham S. (G3) and the stakes-winning filly Bode's Dream. Bodemeister has a total of 10 horses on the recently released list of 2017 Triple Crown nominees.