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Kentucky Derby winner has ties to Panthers owner

Always Dreaming part of Vincent Viola's stable @NHLdotcom

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is co-owned by Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola.

Always Dreaming won the 143rd Run for the Roses by almost three lengths as the favorite in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday.

The colt runs for Brooklyn Boyz Stables, which is owned in part by Viola and childhood friend Anthony Bonomo.

Tweet from @FlaPanthers: We hereby move that Always Dreaming gets Honorary Cat Status��� after that run. ��Congrats to our owner, Vinnie Viola, on today's huge win!

"There is no feeling like this," Viola told NBC Sports after the race. "In 1965, my dad took a little boy with him to the racetrack at Aqueduct to see a racehorse named Kelso. And from that moment I've been passionately attached to this sport."

Tweet from @keeperofthecup: Tried to bring some luck to the horses at the Derby today. It will work for at least one of them #stanleycup @HockeyHallFame @NHL

Viola has owned the Panthers since Sept. 27, 2013.

Nyquist, named for Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, won the Kentucky Derby last year.

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