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Todd Pletcher

In The News:

 Biography, Highlights and Media:  

  • Born: June 26, 1967, Dallas, Texas
  • Residence: Garden City, N.Y.
  • Family: wife Tracy, children Payton, Kyle and Hannah
  • Education: Graduated from the University of Arizona in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science
  • Web site:
  • Pletcher failed to win a Breeders' Cup race in 2011, but did manage a second and two thirds to improve his record to 6-10-11 from 86 starts and his $11,691,650 in earnings ranks him fourth on the all-time list. His best year at the Breeders' Cup came in 2010 when he won three Breeders' Cup races -  the Juvenile with eventual champion Uncle Mo, Juvenile Turf with Pluck and Juvenile Fillies Turf with More Than Real.
  • Pletcher collected the 3,000 win off his career on Feb. 11, 2012 when Spring Hill Farm won the third race at Gulfstream Park.
  • One year after having to scratch early Kentucky Derby favorite Eskenderaya a week before the race, Pletcher had to withrdrawl champion and early 2011 favorite Uncle Mo with an unknown illness the day before the race. He was later found to have cholangiohepatitis, a liver disorder and was sent to WinStar Farm for several months of recovery ... Pletcher did play a part in his main jockey, John Velazquez, winning his first Kentucky Derby in 2011 because he called Animal Kingdom's trainer Graham Motion to let him know that Velazquez would be available.
  • Eclipse Awards as Outstanding Trainer: 2010, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004.
  • Eclipse Award Champions are: Uncle Mo, Rags to Riches, Lawyer Ron, English Channel, Wait A While, Fleet Indian, Speightstown, Ashado and Left Bank.
  • Among his best horses in 2011 were Uncle Mo, who returned to run a valiant second in the King's Bishop Stakes (G1) after recovering from the illness that forced him from the Derby, and his stablemate Stay Thirsty, who has emerged as the divisional leader after a second in the Belmont Stakes followed by wins in the Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers Stakes (G1). Other graded stakes winners included Sidney's Candy, Hilda's Passion, Awesome Marie, R Heat Lightning, Buster's Ready and Overdriven.
  • A perennial leader in New York, Pletcher won five consecutive Saratoga trainer's titles from 2002-2006. After three consecutive years in second place, he regained the title in 2010 and repeated once again in 2011, breaking his own record for wins during the meet with 38 ... He also holds training titles at Belmont Park, Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park and Keeneland.
  • As one of America's most prolific stakes-winning trainers, Todd Pletcher finally earned the most coveted win missing from his resume in 2010 when Super Saver rebounded from a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby to capture the Kentucky Derby. Despite winning eight different Kentucky Derby preps with six different horses, Pletcher's much talked about 0 for 24 record seemed to be in danger of climbing when early Derby favorite Eskendereya, winner of the Fountain of Youth (G1), Florida Derby (G1) and Wood Memorial (G1), had to be declared from the race with an injury, but the WinStar Farm color-bearer came through for the stable under a patented rail-skimming ride from jockey Calvin Borel
  • By his standards, had a slow 2009 when he only won three Grade 1 races: the Secretariat Stakes with Take the Points, the Princess Rooney with Game Face and the Frizette with Devil May Care ... Among the other highlights for him in ’09 were when Dunkirk, a $3.7 million yearling purchase rebounded from an 11th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby to finish second in the Belmont Stakes and acquiring Quality Road from trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Ironically, Quality Road had defeated Dunkirk in the Florida Derby earlier in the year
  • Pletcher started 2008 by collecting his 2,000th career win on Jan. 13 with On the Vig and finished the year as the second-leading trainer, behind Steve Asmussen, with 208 wins from 1090 starts and $13,411784,586 in earnings ... Among his best horses in 2008 were Fairbanks, Game Face, Cowboy Cal, Unbridled Belle and Wait A While
  • Pletcher earned his fourth consecutive Eclipse Award as Outstanding Trainer in 2007, the third trainer to accomplish that feat, joining Bobby Frankel (2000-2003) and Laz Barrera (1976-79). During 2007, he won his first Classic race with the filly Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes, won his third Breeders’ Cup race with English Channel in the Turf, trained three Eclipse Award Champions – Rags to Riches (Three-Year-Old Filly), English Channel (Turf Horse) and Lawyer Ron (Older Male), and won Grade Is with six other horses
  • Pletcher shattered his own record from 2006 when he ended the year with $28,576,097 in earnings. In 2006, his stable earned $26,820,243 ... He surpassed D. Wayne Lukas' record of 92 stakes victories in a year on Oct. 15, 2006, when Scat Daddy won the Champagne ... He finished that year with 100 stakes wins out 416 starters … In addition, he broke Lukas' record of 53 graded stakes victories in a year with 57 victories ... Two of his horses won Eclipse Awards in 2006 – Fleet Indian (Older Female) and Wait a While (Three-Year-Old Filly)
  • With 47 individual stakes winners in 2005, Pletcher became the first trainer to crack $20 million in purse earnings with $20,867,842
  • In 2004, Pletcher won his first two Breeders' Cup races with Ashado (Distaff) and Speightstown (Sprint), which helped him lead the nation in earnings with $17,511,923 and receive his first Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer … Ashado and Speightstown were both voted the champions of their divisions
  • Left Bank, 2002 Champion Older Male, became the first of Pletcher's eight Eclipse Award winners after top performances in the G1 Tom Fool and Whitney handicaps. In the Tom Fool, he set a new Belmont track record of 1:20 for seven furlongs, while in the Whitney he equaled the Saratoga track record of 1:47 set by Tri Jet in 1974 ... In 2007, another Pletcher trainee, Lawyer Ron, broke that record when he captured the Whitney in a final time of 1:46.64
  • Grew up in the racing business, helping his father, Jake (J.J.) Pletcher, who trained Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses throughout the Midwest and California. Jake Pletcher continues to work with Thoroughbreds at a training center in Ocala, Fla.
  • While in college, Pletcher spent his summers working with trainers Henry Moreno, D. Wayne Lukas and Charlie Whittingham ... Went to work as an assistant for Lukas two weeks after his college graduation
  • After seven years with Lukas, Pletcher opened his own public stable with seven horses in Dec. 1995 at Hialeah and won his first race in Feb. 1996 at Gulfstream Park with Majestic Number ... Among his earliest success stories was Jersey Girl, who won seven consecutive races before being injured, including three grade 1 stakes – the Acorn, Mother Goose and Test
  • Pletcher maintains a wide sweeping stable of 200 horses and employs six assistant trainers. Many are juveniles not yet racing, with about 125 in training at various racetracks. His assistants are Tristan Barry (New York and Florida), Jonathan Thomas (New York), Michael Dilger (Midwest), Michael McCarthy (Midwest and California), Ginny DePasquale (New York and shippers) and Anthony Sciametta (New Jersey and Florida).
  • Pletcher in his own right has helped launch the career of several successful trainers, including George Weaver and Michelle Nihei.

Breeders' Cup Record

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Biographies on jockeys, trainers and owners are from the Breeders' Cup World Championships events from 2001 through 2009, and are intended as informational resources. Biographies will be updated if an individual is again a participant in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Biographies are available for most horses appearing in the top 100 money earnings list, and/or for those who are frequently making headlines in the news starting with the 2006 Triple Crown season.


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