Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Always Dreaming, partly owned by Naples resident, wins Kentucky Derby

Always Dreaming, partly owned by Naples resident, wins Kentucky Derby

The second- and third-place finishes of Lookin at Lee (33-1) and Battle of Midway (40-1) keyed some monster payouts.

While other favorites like Irish War Cry, McCraken and Classic Empire were jostled at the start of the race and had a hard time establishing position in the first quarter mile, Velazquez hustled Always Dreaming out of the gate and secured a favorable spot on the rail and in the clear.

Always Dreaming has three wins in five career starts, although there is reason to wonder whether the dark bay colt has benefited from suspect competition.

Jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher have been racing's greatest team for years.

Always Dreaming has now won three consecutive races this year after finishing second and third in his first two contests, according to CBS Sports.

"They would ask me how old I was", Bonomo said, who remembered that he was 15.

"There were a few anxious moments earlier in the week", Pletcher said.

Prices from the 2017 Kentucky Derby, won by Always Dreaming!

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While Classic Empire has the bloodline and has given his owners a big bankroll, being the best two-year-old horse is not necessarily a harbinger of Kentucky Derby glory.

In a year where it was tough to predict a victor and the weather made it all the more hard, the 143rd annual Kentucky Derby offered the same excitement fans are accustomed to.

Forwardly placed from the beginning, Always Dreaming tracked long shot State of Honor from the rail. "With all the success we've had in the past, winning important races, missing this one is definitely a big one".

"There's been a lot of talk about my Derby record", Pletcher told NBC, "so this is all the more sweet".

Velazquez followed up his 2011 winning ride aboard Animal Kingdom, while Pletcher added to his 2010 victory with Super Saver after previously saddling 45 horses in all at the Derby.

If you missed this year's Derby, watch the replay below. Always Dreaming won handily, proving the less-than-enthusiastic bettors cheering for Classic Empire, Irish War Cry, and McCraken were wrong.

There's a second dazzling Derby victory to celebrate. We wanted to make sure we got out well and got a position we'd like to have and be comfortable. Battle of Midway paid 20.80. His story has captivated many fans and apparently their wallets, too. "I don't think I'm any better trainer than I was an hour ago, but I felt like another one would solidify it".

While the best hat victor may not have been taking part in the gambling, others were more than excited to bet on horses and explain their bets. Entering the homestretch, Always Dreaming found his stride and it was clear he wasn't going to be caught on the muddy Churchill Downs surface. "... And, I said, 'Why don't we just name it Dreaming?"

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