05/08/2017 12:46PM

Always Dreaming's female family all California girls

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Barbara D. Livingston
California females are a strong part of Always Dreaming's heritage.

While Always Dreaming is Kentucky born and bred and prepared for the spring classics in Florida, the Kentucky Derby still marked a major victory for the West Coast, as his first three dams were all bred in California.

Always Dreaming is out of the In Excess mare Above Perfection, who was bred by Old English Rancho out of its unraced mare Something Perfect. Above Perfection won seven of 10 starts, taking the Grade 3 Las Flores and three other stakes. She was also second in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes, beaten a neck by Hall of Fame racemare Xtra Heat. Always Dreaming became the second Grade 1 winner out of the mare, joining Hot Dixie Chick.

Something Perfect is out of stakes-placed Happening, who was bred by Ray Freeark Jr.

Pletcher donates to aftercare

Following the Kentucky Derby, as he was awarded a Dodge Ram truck as winning trainer, Todd Pletcher made a point of calling Thoroughbred aftercare, a cause he has championed throughout his career, to the forefront.

“I will definitely take the truck because it has significant sentimental meaning to me to do that. But I’d like to donate the value of the truck to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and New Vocations,” Pletcher said. “It’s a very important cause for us to take care of our retired racehorses.”

Pletcher maintains a “Thoroughbred retirement” section on his stable’s official website, endorsing New Vocations, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and Thoroughbred Charities of America. He has consistently participated in New Vocations’s annual Breeders’ Cup pledge program, in which owners and trainers commit a percentage of any purse winnings to the program.