Todd Pletcher
Trainer Bios

Todd Pletcher

Born: June 26, 1967 in Dallas, Texas

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 251

Stakes Wins: 61

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
2022 Emmanuel 3rd
2022 Commandperformance 8th
2021 Untreated 8th
2019 So Alive 6th
2018 Marconi 8th
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


All-time leading trainer by stakes wins (61).

Leading trainer five times (Spring 2005, 2008 and 2015; Fall 2014 [tie] and 2018).

Surpassed former boss D. Wayne Lukas in number of Keeneland stakes victories 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.

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

Four-time winner of the Juddmonte Spinster (G1): Got Lucky (2015), In Lingerie (2012), Panty Raid (2007) and Valiance (2020).

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

Two-time winner of the Central Bank Ashland (G1): Malathaat )2021) and Nest (2022).

Won first Keeneland race during the 1996 Fall Meet.

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

Career


2021 inductee into the Racing Hall of Fame.

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

Triple Crown wins (6): Kentucky Derby (G1) with Super Saver (2010) and Always Dreaming (2017); Belmont (G1) with filly Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013), Tapwrit (2017) and Mo Donegal (2022).

Breeders’ Cup wins (12): 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; 2015 Dirt Mile with Liam's Map and Distaff with Stopchargingmaria; 2018 Juvenile Turf Sprint with Bulletin; 2019 Classic with Vino Rosso; 2021 Dirt Mile with Life Is Good.

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. 

Recorded his 5,000th career victory on Nov 6, 2020, when Microsecond won the seventh race at Aqueduct. Has 5,226 wins through Feb. 14, 2021.

North American career earnings exceed $432 million with 5,332 wins through June 12, 2022.

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

Click here for his Equibase record.

 

Background


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.

On May 6, 2021, the Racing Hall of Fame announced Pletcher would be inducted as part of this year's class.

“I’m really humbled to be elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s an incredible honor and something that doesn’t happen without having great support around you,” Pletcher said. “I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a great team to work with and my family has been there every step of the way. There have been so many great owners who have trusted me with their horses and those horses have meant everything to me. Along with my family and team, I had amazing opportunities to learn from the likes of Wayne and Jeff Lukas and working winters alongside Kiaran McLaughlin, who taught me a lot about horses and also how to work with owners and communication skills. It really was a stroke of good fortune to come up with people like that around me.

“Training horses is all I ever wanted to do. I remember being 11 or 12 and telling my mom I wanted to train and she said it was wonderful. From that point on with her endorsement I never thought of doing anything else.”