Trainer Bios

Todd Pletcher

Born: June 26, 1967 in Dallas, Texas

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 213

Stakes Wins: 52

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 1998 Mother Goose at Belmont Park with Jersey Girl

First Stakes Win: 1996 John McSorley at Monmouth Park with Stu’s Choice

First Graded Stakes Win: 1998 Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Sprint Championship (G3) with Rare Rock

First Career Win: Feb. 25, 1996, at Gulfstream Park with Majestic Number

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass

Year Horse Finish
2017 Tapwrit 5th
2016 Donegal Moon 8th
2016 Cards of Stone 10th
2016 Zulu 12th
2015 Carpe Diem Won
2014 Gala Award 6th
2014 Vinceremos 14th
2013 Palace Malice 2nd
2013 Charming Kitten 3rd
2012 Heavy Breathing 7th
2011 Queen'splatekitten 7th
2011 Praetereo 11th
2011 Sensational Sam 12th
2010 Interactif 4th
2010 Aikenite 8th
2009 Join in the Dance 5th
2008 Monba Won
2008 Cowboy Cal 2nd
2006 Bluegrass Cat 4th
2005 Bandini Won
2004 Limehouse 3rd
2003 Lion Tamer 6th
2001 Invisible Ink 4th
2000 More Than Ready 2nd
1998 Ian's Thunder 4th

At Keeneland

Track's all-time leading trainer by stakes wins (52) and fifth by wins (213). Surpassed former boss D. Wayne Lukas during the 2017 Spring Meet when he won the Maker's 46 Mile (G1) with American Patriot. Also won the Adena Springs Beaumont (G3) with Sweet Loretta and Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) with Unbridled Mo.

During the 2016 Fall Meet, won the First Lady (G1) with Photo Call (IRE).

Leading trainer four times (Spring 2005, 2008 and 2015; Fall 2014 in a tie with Graham Motion).

Won three stakes during during 2015 Spring Meet: Toyota Blue Grass (G1) with Carpe Diem, Maker's 46 Mile (G1) with Jack Milton and Ben Ali (G3) with Protonico.

Three-time winner of Toyota Blue Grass (G1): Carpe Diem (2015), Monba (2008) and Bandini (2005).

Three-time winner of the Juddmonte Spinster (G1): Got Lucky (2015), In Lingerie (2012) and Panty Raid (2007).

Five-time winner of the Coolmore Lexington (G2): Winning Cause (2013), Exhi (2010), Advice (2009), Behindatthebar (2008) and Coin Silver (2005).

Won the 2015 Hagyard Fayette (G2) with Race Day on Oct. 30, the first of the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships. The same day, he won the Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) with Liam's Map and the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) with Stopchargingmaria.

Won first Keeneland race during the 1996 Fall Meet.

First Keeneland stakes win was the 1996 Valley View with Turkappeal.


Record seven Eclipse Awards winner as outstanding trainer: 2004-2007, 2010, 2013-2014.

Triple Crown wins (5): Kentucky Derby (G1) with Super Saver (2010) and Always Dreaming (2017); Belmont (G1) with filly Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013) and Tapwrit (2017).

Breeders’ Cup wins (9): 2004 Distaff with Ashado and Sprint with Speightstown; 2007 Turf with English Channel; 2010 Juvenile with Uncle Mo, Juvenile Fillies Turf with More Than Real and Juvenile Turf with Pluck; 2012 Juvenile with Shanghai Bobby; and 2015 Dirt Mile with Liam's Map and Distaff with Stopchargingmaria.

Became Thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading trainer by earnings when Jack Milton won the $300,000 Poker (G3) at Belmont on May 26, 2014. The win, worth $180,000, pushed Pletcher’s career earnings to $268.5 million to surpass those of his mentor, D. Wayne Lukas. 

North American career earnings exceed $351 million with 4,476 wins through January 29, 2018. Only nine other trainers have won more races.

2017 earnings were $22,444,161 with 253 wins, including the Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) with Always Dreaming, Belmont (G1) with Tapwrit and Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland with American Patriot. 

North America’s leading trainer by earnings 10 times (2004-2007, 2010-2015), including a record $28.1 million in 2007.

Career earnings exceed $341 million with 4,328 wins through June 13, 2017. 


Todd Pletcher grew up around racing as his father, J.J. Pletcher, trained American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds throughout the West, Southwest and Midwest. He spent summers working for his father, who encouraged him to become a trainer. His father now operates Payton Training Center near Ocala, Fla.

Between his junior and senior years of high school, Pletcher worked for trainer Henry Moreno in Southern California. While attending the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, he worked for D. Wayne Lukas between his sophomore and junior years and for Charlie Whittingham the following summer. After graduating with an animal science degree in 1989, Todd went to work for Lukas in New York under Lukas’ son, Jeff. By 1991, he was promoted to assistant trainer, splitting his time between Florida and New York.

Todd went out on his own in December 1995 after 6 1/2 years with Lukas.