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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.