Mardukas (red cap) digs in to win by neck in first special weight at Churchill Downs
Mardukas rallied strongly along the inside rail, powered through the stretch and proved a determined winner of a special first shot put of $92,000 over 5 ½ furlongs on Sunday at Churchill Downs, becoming the first winner from his father, winner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) Always Dreaming.
Ridden by jockey Corey Lanerie for trainer Jeff Engler, Mardukas raced close to early pace before taking the lead early in the stretch and winning by a neck on a long drive to the start line. ‘arrival.
Mardukas owned by Daniel Preiss and Chris Province and was bred in Kentucky by Hubert Vester. A graduate of the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale, sold at Preiss on the Mulholland Springs lot for $20,000, the colt was produced from mare Pulpit Blue Kisses and descends from the winning family of Grade 1 Videogenic and Valid Video.
Always Dreaming, also a 2017 Florida Derby (G1) winner, made $2.4 million on the racetrack for owners Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, Siena Farm LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, MeB Racing Stables LLC and St. Elias Stables.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and bred by Santa Rosa Partners, Always Dreaming beat his young daughter by an eye-catching 11½ lengths on her debut as a 3-year-old and won the Florida Derby by five lengths in the best time since Alydar in 1978-1. :47.47—faster than Quality Road, Scat Daddy and Empire Maker. He validated those impressive scores with a valiant victory in the Kentucky Derby, winning by 2 ¾ lengths as the favorite in his first off-road start.
Descended from the dominant Unbridled sire line, Always Dreaming is a Grade 1 placed son of Bodemeister out of Above Perfection, by In Excess, and is a half-winning Grade 1 Hot Dixie Chick, dam of Pauline’s Pearl, winner of La Troienne this year Challenges (G1).
For more information on Always Dreaming, which represents $12,500 from stalls and nurses, visit WinStarFarm.com.