January 22, 2019

Always Dreaming pointing for four-year-old campaign

Always Dreaming with John Velazquez up wins the 143rd Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 6, 2017 (c) Rickelle Nelson/Horsephotos.com

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming will return to training next month and be pointed for a four-year-old campaign, WinStar Farm announced on Monday. The news comes after the son of Bodemeister was found clear of stomach ulcers, for which he had been diagnosed following a disappointing run in the Travers (G1) in late August.

“When Always Dreaming came to the farm, we had a complete physical conducted by Dr. (Larry) Bramlage and his team at Rood & Riddle. He checked out extremely well and was in very good shape, except for his stomach,” said WinStar President & CEO Elliott Walden.

“He had a pretty bad case of ulcers. Dr. Steve Reed of Rood & Riddle said it was one of the worst cases of ulcers he has seen. The interesting thing is (trainer) Todd (Pletcher) said his appetite was always stellar, and he has been treated with Gastrogard all year. Todd is extremely vigilant on taking care of his horses, and it was a complete shock to all involved.

“The great news is we’ve been able to clear up the ulcers and he’s doing fantastic right now. It also explains a lot about his regression in form, and we are extremely excited about his racing potential in 2018. The sky is the limit.”

Always Dreaming is expected to start light training at WinStar in early November before re-joining the Pletcher stable at Palm Beach Downs in December.

“I’m glad we found something that we could fix,” Pletcher said. “Up until the Preakness (G1), I had never seen Always Dreaming get beat at anything, whether it be a workout or race. He did not act like a typical ulcer horse, but the pictures we got from the stomach scope were about as bad as I have seen. Gastrogard is a good treatment plan and works for the majority of my horses, but, every now and then, you run into a horse that gets ulcers through the medication. I can’t wait to get him back.”

Since back-to-back wins in the Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming had finished eighth in the Preakness, third in the Jim Dandy (G2), and ninth to West Coast in the Travers.

WinStar is part of a partnership that owns Always Dreaming along with SF Bloodstock, China Horse Club, MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St Elias, Siena Farm, and West Point Thoroughbreds. Always Dreaming will stand at WinStar upon his retirement.