There aren’t many more instantly recognizable trainers in the United States than Todd Pletcher. The Hall of Famer has won the Eclipse Award on seven occasions throughout his career; which includes a dominant run of four successive victories. He has recorded over 5,000 victories during his esteemed career; which began back in 1985 as he worked as a groom for legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Todd Pletcher has been involved with horses throughout his career. His first steps in the sport were made when he was just seven; as he was a hot walker in his father’s yard. It wasn’t until 1985 that he would continue to hone his skills; as he would work as a groom for D. Wayne Lukas. His experience continued the following year, as he worked with Charlie Whittingham at Hollywood Park.
Pletcher returned to work with Lukas in 1989 and was promoted to assistant trainer two years later. However, he decided in 1995 that he wanted to go off on his own and applied for his trainer’s license. Just two months after getting his license, he saddled his first winner with Majestic Number at Gulfstream Park.
Todd Pletcher Major Race Victories
Pletcher would get the biggest win of his career so far in 2004, as Ashado would win the Kentucky Oaks. It is a race that he has continued to have massive success in throughout his career; as his win with Malathaat in 2021 was the fourth victory that he has achieved in the race. Ashado would later go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and was awarded the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three-Year-Old.
That season would also be the first year that Pletcher would pick up the Top Trainer award. He would later win the award again in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2014. Pletcher wouldn’t get a Triple Crown victory until 2007, as he saddled Rags to Riches to win the Belmont Stakes. However, history was made with the win, as the three-year-old became the first filly to win the race since 1905.
Todd Pletcher Triple Crown Victories
Pletcher needed to wait for an extended period of time before finally landing the winner in the Kentucky Derby; but that dually arrived with his 25th attempt in 2010. Super Saver was the 8/1 chance to win the Derby; and he traveled excellently to give the Hall of Famer his first win. He has only won the Kentucky Derby on one more occasion since then, with that victory coming in 2017 with Always Dreaming.
He has achieved more victories in the Belmont Stakes during his career; as he has won the final Triple Crown race of the season on three occasions. His first victory came with Rags to Riches in 2007; before further success followed with Palace Pier in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017.
Aside from the Triple Crown races; Pletcher has also won nine Breeders’ Cup races during his career and all three of the Canadian Triple Crown races on at least one occasion. He has also recorded five wins in the Arkansas Derby, six wins in the Florida Derby, and three victories in the Whitney Handicap.
He was deservingly inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021. Pletcher was inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier in the year in the same class as Triple Crown hero American Pharoah. The Triple Crown winner was also a standout name to be inducted after winning nine of his eleven races, including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.
Follow us on Social Media for instant Todd Pletcher trainer news updates!