Always Dreaming wins the Florida Derby April 1 at Gulfstream Park

Always Dreaming wins the Florida Derby April 1 at Gulfstream Park

Coglianese Photos

Always Dreaming Finishes Strong in Friday Breeze

Xpressbet Florida Derby winner gets back to work

Always Dreaming, impressive winner of the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park, breezed April 14 for the first time since his five-length victory in the $1 million event.

Under regular rider John Velazquez, Always Dreaming worked a half-mile in :49.55 outside Appleton Stakes (G3T) winner All Included at approximately 6:50 a.m. at Palm Beach Downs.

"I thought he settled well considering the first part was a little on the slow side. He finished up strongly, galloped out impressively," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "Based from what we were seeing in the morning, the track is not super fast.

"The longer you're here the more you kind of get used to this track. It's a little bit quirky in some ways. It can be a little inside biased, sometimes not produce real fast times. But we like it a lot. Knock on wood, it's been a very safe surface for us. It seems like a lot of horses thrive through the winter here."

Always Dreaming, a son of Bodemeister , raced twice as a 2-year-old before breaking his maiden Jan. 25 at Tampa Bay Downs by 11 1/2 lengths. The colt then won by four lengths at Gulfstream March 4 before his victory in the Florida Derby for Brooklyn Boyz Stables, MeB Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stables, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Siena Farm.

"(Always Dreaming) is one of the exceptions in terms of horses who consistently win breezes, whether he's on the inside or outside of horses," Pletcher said. "It was, I thought, a very good breeze. I liked the way he finished the last quarter in 23-and-change and seemed to cool out quickly and recover quickly."

Pletcher has not decided whether Always Dreaming will remain in South Florida and work one more time at Palm Beach before shipping to Kentucky for the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).