The Meaning Behind Always Dreaming Is Truly Magical

by Caitlin Flynn
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For hours, attendees at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville and viewers at home have been sipping mint juleps, sporting outrageous hats, and placing their bets on who will win. The Kentucky Derby is an all-day affair, but the race itself is always brief, to say the least (and by "brief," I mean two minutes).

After much anticipation and hours of live coverage, actor Jeff Bridges kicked off the Kentucky Derby horse race. And the winner is ... Always Dreaming! The meaning behind each horse's name always has an interesting backstory — so what does Always Dreaming's name mean?

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According to the colt's owner, Anthony Bonomo, the name was chosen by his wife, Maryellen.

“It's magical. I don't know anyone who's been in the horse business who doesn't dream of this. So the name that my wife picked out — Always Dreaming — is what you have to do every day, especially in this business.”

The magic paid off on May 6, when jockey John Velazquez road Always Dreaming to victory. Leading up to the race, he was a favorite with 5-1 odds.

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Bonomo, a Brooklyn-based malpractice lawyer, never thought he'd own a horse — let alone one who would go on to win the Kentucky Derby.

That all changed in 2005 when Maryellen took him to Saratoga Springs, the horse racing capitol of the east coast. He fell in love with the town and the sport. So, it's fitting that she's the one who chose Always Dreaming's name. Bonomo says:

"The reason I'm involved is because of her. She said, 'I'd love to own a horse.' You know, when you love somebody you do what they ask. So, we went into horse racing and we've been very fortunate."

Horse racing is truly a family affair for the Bonomos — their children are also involved in the sport, and one is a veterinarian.

Congratulations, Always Dreaming! He certainly lived up to his name today.


Citations: Always Dreaming heading to Kentucky after Florida Derby win (Miami Herald), From Brooklyn to Churchill Downs: A lawyer 'Always Dreaming' of success (Quad City Times)