Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out three contenders in this year’s Run for the Roses and Always Dreaming is his best shot of improving on his 1-for-45 record in the race.

The colt made his first two starts last year under the care of Dominic Schettino, with Pletcher taking over this year, and the colt broke his maiden by 11 1/2 lengths at Tampa Bay Downs in his first start for the new connections.

The colt then beat first-level allowance company by four lengths at Gulfstream Park, and was pointed toward the Florida Derby (G1) for his stakes debut.

Days before the race he was listed at 50-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at Bovada, but after he won by five widening lengths the betting action poured in on him and the colt is currently 4-1, the same odds as 2016 juvenile champion Classic Empire.

Over the past 15 years the Florida Derby has produced four Kentucky Derby winners, the most of any major prep race, including last year’s winner Nyquist.

The colt was a $350,000 Keeneland purchase by Bodemeister, who was second in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness (G1) and won the Arkansas Derby (G1).

The mare Above Perfection was a stakes winner and has dropped six other winners, including a pair of stakes winners — Yo Soro and Hot Dixie Chick.

Pletcher has won the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer seven times but his poor record in the Kentucky Derby is well documented. His lone winner was Super Saver in 2010.

The colt looked very impressive winning the Florida Derby and his Beyer Speed Figure of 97 stacks up nicely among the top contenders.

However, he likely goes off as the second choice in the field of 20 and I am not sure that is going to offer much betting value for the win spot.

  • Race record: 5-3-1-1
  • Career earnings: $648,900
  • Bovada Odds: 4-1
  • Last race: Won Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park



Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown for OddsShark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at

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