With an amazing win in the 143rd Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming has put himself in great position to snatch the Triple Crown.
On a surprising wet and rainy track, it was still a beautiful day at Churchill Downs. There was a nine to two betting favorite for the thoroughbred horse, Always Dreaming. Always Dreaming blew away his competition in the final lap of the Kentucky Derby, claiming first place in the race. Formative opponents, Looking To Lee and Battle of Midway placed 2nd and 3rd at the Derby. The field was full of passion and speed for the biggest event in the horse racing sport. The sun broke through the clouds, and with the sound of the trumpet, the excitement was palpable, and the crowd was in it all the way. Emotions were flying high after the race, from the jockey John Velasquez to the horse’s owner, Vincent Viola, a native of Brooklyn, NY. These old friends from a small neighborhood declared, “Brooklyn, This is for you!”
However, now that the race is over, higher expectations will fall on the horse. Critics do not think Always Dreaming can win both the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. If Always Dreaming can win these two races, the horse will complete the historic Triple Crown milestone. While many do not believe Always Dreaming can win it all, anything is possible. A couple of years ago, thoroughbred horse American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby, en route to completing horse racing’s first Triple Crown since 1978. Outside of American Pharoah, historically horses who have won the first leg of the Triple Crown are upset in the second leg. For Always Dreaming to claim the Triple Crown, this horse must leap past historic obstacles.
The opportunity is there for Always Dreaming to seize. His jockey-trainer and owners are aware that the journey to the Triple Crown will be very difficult, but that’s why they invested in him. This horse has been carefully trained, and the top jockey will be driving him. Velasquez, Pletcher, and Viola all have optimism that Always Dreaming will win the remaining two races, and achieve ultimate recognition and glory from his fans. The name, Always Dreaming, is appropriate for his journey to the Triple Crown. His team will be dreaming of victory, and so will all the sports analysts and horse racing aficionados. Only time will tell whether or not Always Dreaming can go down in history as one of the greatest to ride at the Kentucky Derby.
Jonathon Pflegl is a contributor to The Daily Runner.