WinStar Farm has entered into an agreement to acquire the breeding rights to 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming.
“We are excited to add another potentially breed-shaping stallion from the dominant Unbridled line, which has proven to be today’s preeminent classic sire line,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar President & CEO. “Always Dreaming has all three things we look for: Looks, he was a $350,000 yearling; Pedigree, he is out of a fast, Grade 1-level race mare and is a half to a Grade 1 winner; and Performance, he’s a brilliantly fast winner of two prestigious Grade 1 races this year, including the race everyone wants to win – the (Kentucky) Derby. He represents four straight generations of a sire line that finished first or second in the Kentucky Derby.”
Always Dreaming was shipped from Saratoga to WinStar early Monday morning for a planned freshening and exam at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. A decision on whether he will stand stud in 2018 or 2019 will be made following an exam by Dr. Larry Bramlage. The 3-year-old colt from the first crop of WinStar stallion Bodemeister is owned and campaigned by MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St Elias, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds. Among the partners in Always Dreaming’s future stallion career with WinStar are SF Bloodstock, China Horse Club, and Siena Farm.
“Always Dreaming is a very special horse, and we are excited about his future stallion career at WinStar,” said co-owner Vinnie Viola. “We will continue the ride and support him with some great mares down the road. The combination of SF Bloodstock, China Horse Club, Siena Farm, and WinStar Farm ensures a super partnership with access to some of the best broodmare bands in the world. This is a group that knows how to make leading sires, and we want to give Always Dreaming the best opportunity when he retires to stud.”
A $350,000 Book 1 yearling at the 2015 Keeneland September sale, Always Dreaming broke his maiden by 11 ½ lengths earlier this year in his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher. He has gone on to become the only 3-year-old colt to win multiple Grade 1s in 2017, including decisive victories in the Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1).
Following his maiden score, Always Dreaming dominated a Gulfstream Allowance race by four lengths on Fountain of Youth Stakes day to set him up for what would be his stakes debut in the $1 million Florida Derby a month later. The dark bay colt burst onto the national scene with a breakthrough five-length victory in the Florida Derby, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.47. It marked the fastest running of the prestigious Grade 1 race for 3-year-olds since Alydar in 1978, and the performance made Always Dreaming the favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Always Dreaming proved best in America’s biggest race, drawing off to win the $2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill by 2 ¾ lengths – the largest margin of victory in the last half dozen years in the Run for the Roses. He earned a 102 Beyer for the performance.
An earner of $2,344,700 to date, Always Dreaming owns four wins and three other placings from nine career starts. Bred in Kentucky by Santa Rosa Partners, he is out of the Grade 3-winning, Grade 1-placed and multiple Grade 1-producing In Excess (Ire) mare Above Perfection, and is a half-brother to Saratoga G1-winning juvenile Hot Dixie Chick.