Race of the Week 2017

Pletcher Joins 3,000 Win Club

Five-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Todd Pletcher reached a personal milestone today when he sent out his 3,000th career winner at Gulfstream Park.


Pletcher, who earned his second straight training title on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit in 2011, reached 2,999 with Seniors Pride in the eighth race at Aqueduct Racetrack on Friday afternoon and hit the 3,000 victory mark with Spring Hill Farm in the third race at Gulfstream today.


“I’ve been blessed through the years with great horses, great owners, a great staff and wonderful family and friends,” said Pletcher by telephone from Florida. “It’s a difficult game to take a pause and reflect on the past, but a milestone like this gives you a chance to look back and appreciate how important each victory is.”


Of those victories, 484 came at Aqueduct (12th all-time), 537 at Belmont Park (third all-time) and 324 at Saratoga Race Course (first all-time).


Pletcher, whose career began as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, went out on his own in 1996 and shortly thereafter saddled his first winner, Majestic Number, on January 26 at Gulfstream. Coincidentally, Pletcher’s 3,001st winner was a horse with the same name, Majestic Number, who took race 4 at Gulfstream today.


In between, Pletcher has trained dozens of graded stakes winners, including nine champions: Ashado, 2004’s Top 3-Year-Old Filly and 2005’s Top Older Female; English Channel, Top Turf Male (2007); Fleet Indian, Top Older Female (2006); Lawyer Ron, Top Older Male (2007); Left Bank, Top Older Male (2002); Rags to Riches, Top 3-Year-Old Filly (2007); Speightstown, Top Sprinter (2004); Wait a While, Top 3-Year-Old Filly (2006), and Uncle Mo, Top 2-Year-Old Male (2010).


Voted the nation’s top trainer four straight years from 2004-2007 and again in 2010, Pletcher won his first Classic in 2007 when he saddled Rags to Riches to become the first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont Stakes, and took his first Kentucky Derby in 2010 with Super Saver.


“I would have to say the victory by Rags to Riches in the Belmont, Super Saver wining the Derby and two victories in the Travers [Stay Thirsty in 2011 and Flower Alley in 2005] along with the Breeders’ Cup wins, stand out,” said Pletcher. “I’ve been fortunate that a lot of those [3,000] victories came in significant races.”


Pletcher, 44, has won or tied for 26 individual training titles on the NYRA circuit, including eight at Saratoga Race Course, most recently in 2011 when he set a meet record with 38 winners to break his own mark of 36 set the previous year.


Nationally, Pletcher ranks 17th among active trainers in victories, a list topped by Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg (6,410). Pletcher-trained horses have earned in excess of $213.8 million, second among active trainers behind Lukas ($258.5 million).



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