Always Dreaming, winner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1), has been retired from racing and will join the stallion ranks at WinStar Farm, it was announced today.
Hailing from the Unbridled sire line, the most dominant classic sire line in recent years, Always Dreaming was campaigned by Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stables, MEB Racing Stables, Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds with WinStar Farm, SF Bloodstock and China Horse Club joining the ownership group for the dark bay colt’s 4-year-old season and stallion career.
“He was brilliantly fast, and he has everything you want in a stallion—looks, pedigree, and performance,” said Elliott Walden, president, CEO, and racing manager of WinStar Farm. “We dream about the Kentucky Derby every day, but the race I really liked was the Florida Derby. When I saw the teletimer, I was amazed. We are excited to add a potentially breed-shaping stallion from the Unbridled line, which has proven to be today’s preeminent classic sire line.”
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Always Dreaming broke his maiden by an eye-catching 11 ½ lengths in January of his 3-year-old season and rattled off four consecutive victories, culminating with his triumph in the 143 rd Kentucky Derby. He captured the $1 million Florida Derby by a decisive five lengths in his stakes debut, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.47—marking the fastest running of the race since Alydar in 1978. That scintillating performance made Always Dreaming the favorite for the $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1), which he won by a commanding 2 ¾ lengths, the largest margin of victory in the Run for the Roses in the last half dozen years. His impressive winning effort earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102.
“He was one of the most athletic horses I have ever trained,” said Pletcher. “He has a terrific bounce to him. I compare him to a panther, a fluid mover.”
Tom Ryan said, “When we think about investing in a stallion, I want them to be athletic, fast and out of a top mare. Always Dreaming has it all.”
Bred in Kentucky by Gerry Dilger and Mike Ryan’s Santa Rosa Partners, Always Dreaming was a $350,000 Keeneland September Book 1 yearling from the first crop of Bodemeister. He is produced from the Grade 3-winning, Grade 1-placed and multiple Grade 1-producing In Excess (Ire) mare Above Perfection and is a half-brother to Grade 1-winning juvenile Hot Dixie Chick.
Always Dreaming concludes his racing career with four wins from 11 starts, hitting the board in eight, having amassed earnings of $2,415,860. He retires sound and has taken up residence at WinStar where he will begin his new career as a stallion in 2019 for a stud fee of $25,000.