A Brooklyn “Dream” Comes True

John Velazquez and Always Dreaming cruise in the Florida Derby. Coglianese photo

When Anthony Bonomo started racing horses in 2006, he named his Brooklyn Boyz stable after the borough in which he’d grown up, and to which he still felt a close tie. Not uncommonly, he’d name his horses after place in the old neighborhood: Lorimer Street, McCarren Park, Jackson N Humboldt.

It’s been a long time since Bonomo lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the neighborhood has sure changed since then. Once a bastion of Italian-American residents, it was for a while the home of artists taking up residence in abandoned factories; edgy and at times dangerous, it became known has a haven for drug users and dealers.

More recently, Williamsburg helped lead the real estate boom in Brooklyn, its waterfront location offering tempting opportunities for developers and the bohemian rich; if hipster Brooklyn has a birthplace, it’s Williamsburg.

But that’s not the Brooklyn that Bonomo and Vinnie Viola remember. Friends since childhood, the two join racing forces last year, owning a number of horses in partnership, along with their wives Mary Ellen and Teresa. And less than a year after going into business together, the two men celebrated winning the Kentucky Derby with a horse Mary Ellen Bonomo named Always Dreaming because, as her husband said, “That’s what you have to do every day, especially in this business.”

Continue reading at Brisnet.com



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