||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
|Occupation||Thoroughbred Horse Trainer|
|Born||June 26, 1967
|Major racing wins, honours and awards|
NEW YORK TRAINING TITLES:
|Any Given Saturday, Ashado, Bluegrass Cat, Devil May Care, English Channel, Fleet Indian, Flower Alley, Harlem Rocker, Lawyer Ron, Limehouse, Rags to Riches, Scat Daddy, Super Saver, Uncle Mo, Palace Malice|
Todd Pletcher (born June 26, 1967, Dallas, Texas) is a leading American thoroughbred horse trainer. He has won four consecutive Eclipse Awards as outstanding Trainer of the Year, while topping the leader board in purse earnings in 2004, 2005, and 2006. His horse Super Saver won the 2010 Kentucky Derby, the first of his 24 horses entered in his career to win the Run for the Roses. He also won the 2007 Belmont Stakes with filly Rags to Riches and the 2013 Belmont Stakes with horse Palace Malice.
Todd began working for his father, Jake Pletcher, as a hot walker at the age of seven. During his summers off from junior and senior high school he went to California where he worked as a hot walker for Henry Moreno at Hollywood Park and Del Mar Racetracks.
He graduated from James Madison High School in San Antonio, TX in 1985 and began college at the University of Arizona in their Race Track Industry Program in the fall of that year. Between his sophomore and junior years he worked as a groom for D. Wayne Lukas at Arlington Park near Chicago. He spent the following summer with another legendary Hall of Fame trainer, Charlie Whittingham, working as a groom at Hollywood Park. While attending University of Arizona, Pletcher was an active member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
He graduated from college with a Bachelor of Animal Science in May 1989 and traveled to New York immediately following graduation to work for Lukas as a foreman in the active stable.
In 1991 he was promoted to assistant trainer for Lukas, splitting his time between New York and Florida. Pletcher was Lukas's East Coast Assistant until the end of 1995 where he was instrumental in the development of such great horses as Thunder Gulch, Harlan, Serena's Song, A Wild Ride, and Flanders. He took out his trainer's license in December 1995 and saddled his first winner, Majestic Number, in February 1996 at Gulfstream Park in Florida.
In 2004 he got his big break and he trained three-year-old filly Ashado to a win in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Later that year Ashado won the Breeders' Cup Distaff. The filly went on to capture the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three-Year-Old of the year in 2004 and as Best Older Female in 2005. Her stablemate, Speightstown, gave Pletcher a second Breeders’ Cup win in 2004 in the Sprint division as well as a second Eclipse award when he was named Outstanding Sprint Horse that same year.
In 2005, Pletcher set a single season earnings record with purse earnings totaling $20,867,842 with trips to the winner's circle in ten Grade 1 races, including the Travers Stakes at Saratoga with Flower Alley and the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course with Bandini.
Pletcher broke his own single-season earnings record on October 7, 2006, when Fleet Indian captured a win in the Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park. That win proved to be a first in a day of multiple winners for Pletcher as Honey Ryder won the Flower Bowl Invitational, English Channel won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes, and India won the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Breeders' Cup Handicap at Philadelphia Park. His purse earnings total $27,670,243.
Later that year, He broke the 19-year-old North American record for most stakes wins in a year, on October 14, when the two-year-old colt Scat Daddy won the $400,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, making it the 93rd stakes victory of the year for Pletcher. The record was set by his former boss and mentor D. Wayne Lukas in 1987. Pletcher's 93 stakes wins include 52 graded events and a career-best 17 Grade 1 wins.
Pletcher has amassed numerous training titles in New York, Kentucky and Florida, including five consecutive titles at the prestigious Saratoga Race Track summer meet. He has received several Fourstar Dave (for Special Achievement at Saratoga Race Course) and Woody Stevens (for outstanding trainer) Awards from the New York Turf Writers Association.