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The Kentucky Derby Post

2012: A Remarkable 2yo Season for Todd Pletcher

There isn’t an Eclipse Award for outstanding Juvenile Trainer but if there was it would be no contest. Todd Pletcher would be your runaway winner. This past weekend he completed one of the most spectacular Juvenile seasons that I can ever remember. His hard work and talented thoroughbreds set him up to look forward to this spring with more than just a few Kentucky Derby hopefuls. Instead, he has proved that he is in prime position to make a strong run for his second Kentucky Derby win.
Over the weekend we witnessed a surprise move that turned out a very probable result. It isn’t the norm for Todd Pletcher to be racing on the west coast, especially when it’s the All Weather Track at Hollywood Park, but TP knows a good spot when he’s sees one. You can’t rise to the top in this sport unless you make some very calculated decisions on where to enter so no one should be shocked that Violence shipped in from New York to improve his record to 3-for-3. Perfect.  
His convincing win in the G1 CashCall Futurity also made quite the impression. Not only did it bring him to the Kentucky Derby contender table it also propelled him into the top ten on the 2013 Kentucky Derby points leaderboard, a familiar place for Todd Pletcher. Violence enters the 10 point club where he joins six other contenders including the Todd Pletcher trained Overanalyze. Another thing that all of these hopefuls have in common is who they’re looking up to atop of the leaderboard as the 2012 Juvenile season comes to a close. Shanghai Bobby, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and likely Two Year Old Male of the year, leads the way for now but that may only be temporary.  
The reason for that is because the other two horses made such a strong closing argument in the final stretch of the Juvenile season. Now that the year has ended some will favor one over the other two but that’s what makes Todd Pletcher’s situation so exciting. We can only wait for their return in 2013 but let’s not pretend that we won’t spend that time arguing which one is the leader of the pack. However, regardless of how things pan out in the spring how can we forget what an amazing Juvenile season it was Todd Pletcher.
Between them they represent a total of seven Graded Stakes victories and 40 Kentucky Derby Points. Here’s the stat that is almost off the charts; In 13 starts his record stands at: 11-0-1. Because Violence and Shanghai Bobby are both undefeated Overanalyze is the only one that had to endure the hardship of missing the winners circle in those two races. And by no means were those stakes races against a field of non Kentucky Derby contenders. The first was a 4th place finish in the G2 Hopeful Stakes won by Shanghai Bobby followed by Fortify and Bern Identity. Next was a 3rd place finish in the G3 Iroquois Stakes won by the highly regarded Uncaptured.
Can anyone else recall such a dominating Juvenile season by a single trainer? It’s not every year that someone can claim victories in all of these races - BC Juvenile, CashCall Futurity, Champagne, Hopeful, Remsen, Nashua and Futurity – but Todd Pletcher just did, and that my friends is remarkable.
The most revered performance was Shanghai Bobby living up to the hype and moving west to score the Juvenile in convincing fashion. That stretch duel was one for the ages and will be remembered for some time. But, let's not forget how Overanalyze battled his way out from behind SB's shadow when he scored in the G2 Remsen Stakes. All of the 11 wins were pretty special but there's nothing like the one that tops it all off.
A fitting end to the Juvenile season for Pletcher. Again, So Cal isn’t his stomping ground but after the damage he’s done as of late he may have to consider showing up there more often. New York, Florida and Kentucky are more familiar but when you conclude a monster season it doesn’t matter where you’re racing, you’ll take it every time. And if you have to go back to do something like it again you and your horses will be on the next plane in no time.
But, the Kentucky Derby isn’t anywhere close. Which is what makes the road to the Kentucky Derby so memorable. Where one achievement is earned the journey to the next one begins. It’s not about where you start or place in between but only where you finish at the end of the marathon. There’s a long way yet to go but Todd Pletcher has to be excited and feeling pretty good about his chances. Congratulations to Todd Pletcher on a fantastic Juvenile season, we look forward to seeing your big three return in 2013. 


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Older Comments about 2012: A Remarkable 2yo Season for Todd Pletcher...

Maybe so, but I would rather see Dale Romans who has had a spectacular season get the Eclipse for Trainer. A statistic I would be more interested in seeing would be the percentage of horses that get to the races and wind up ITM. Pletcher has an abundance of trainees, so, theoretically, he should be at the top of the lists every year. Other trainers do a lot more with less, it seems to me. If you are looking for quality and not quantity, Dale Romans wins it hands down. JMHO
the comments above me gave me a good chuckle.
D Wayne Lukas???
QUOTE: Pletcher is aweful at keeping his horses sound...and just WHO was his mentor???
Pletcher is aweful at keeping his horses sound. I'll be surprised if all 3 of these horses even make it to the Derby before being retired.
Remember that Pletcher had over 20 two year-old winners at Saratoga alone this summer.

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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer – Chicago, IL


Growing up across the river from the Bluegrass State I was able to spend a lot of summer days at Ellis Park, Henderson, KY. 


Likewise, the first Saturday in May was always a celebrated family event. In 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance and since, I have made it an annual tradition because there’s no other city, or weekend, in the racing world like Louisville, KY on Derby Day. 


Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, a champions trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about. The coverage begins when Juvenile season starts and continues until the field is set, the picks are in and the roses are earned. 



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