Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Always Dreaming checks into Pimlico's Stall 40

Published:Friday | May 12, 2017 | 5:00 AM
John Velazquez rides Always Dreaming to victory in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 6 in Louisville, Kentucky.

BALTIMORE (AP):

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming made himself right at home on Tuesday in Stall 40 at Pimlico Race Course, munching on hay while his handlers scurried around him.

The bay colt was in excellent spirits after travelling from Churchill Downs to Pimlico, where he will spend the next 11 days before running in the Preakness.

Always Dreaming was pampered by assistant trainer Ginny DePasquale, who will be joined by her boss, trainer Todd Pletcher, on Wednesday.

"I just spoke to Todd and told him: 'The horse looks very bright-eyed. He looks very happy'," DePasquale said. "It's pretty special to see him looking that well. I'm happy and I know Todd is."

HOUSED GREAT CHAMPIONS

Stall 40 is traditionally reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner and has housed many of the greatest champions in horse racing history. Secretariat and Seattle Slew are among several Triple Crown winners who resided there, but Always Dreaming is the first Derby winner to cozy into Stall 40 since California Chrome in 2014.

"It's actually very exciting because we think he's a really, really special horse," DePasquale said.

The 13/16-mile Preakness will be run on May 20. The notion behind bringing Always Dreaming to Pimlico well before the race was twofold: to avoid excessive travel and to let the horse get familiar with his surroundings.