Pletcher Setting Sights on 13th Straight Championship Meet Training Title
Dec 4, 2015
7-Time Eclipse Winner Looking Forward to Gulfstream’s Dec. 5 Opener
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Since 2004, Todd Pletcher-trained horses have won approximately 3000 races and more than $250 million in purses. While saddling more than 200 winners each year during that period, Pletcher has been honored with an Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding trainer seven times.
The 48-year-old Texas native has set the tone for each of the past 12 racing seasons by capturing the training title during Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet.
With an unprecedented 12 consecutive Gulfstream training titles to his credit, Pletcher is looking forward to launching a quest for No. 13 during the 2015-2015 Championship Meet, which is slated to get under way Saturday, Dec. 5 and run through April 3.
“For us, it’s kind of the time of year when the 3-year-olds get revved up. It’s a big part of our program – 2-year-olds-turning-3,” said Pletcher, who has saddled the winners of more than 3900 races and nearly $310 million in purses during a career that started in 1996. “We’ve enjoyed a lot of success at Gulfstream over the years. I hope we keep it going.”
Pletcher, who saddled his very first winner, Majestic Number, at Gulfstream on Jan. 26, 1996, has saddled the victors of the last two editions of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1), the signature race of the Hallandale Beach racetrack that will celebrate its 77th anniversary in 2016.
Pletcher, who enjoyed his first Florida Derby success with Scat Daddy in 2007, visited the Gulfstream winner’s circle with Constitution and Materiality in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Remarkably, both winners were unraced prior to the Championship Meet and made only their third lifetime starts in the key 1 1/8-mile Triple Crown prep. Constitution won maiden and allowance races at Gulfstream before prevailing over multiple-stakes winner Wildcat Red in 2013. Materiality broke his maiden and won the Islamorada Stakes in preparation for his mild upset victory over Upstart last year.
“It’s the way our program is. Sometimes we’ll get horses coming in a little later and start to get ready at Gulfstream. Some of the ones that come in early will get a little break and target Gulfstream,” said Pletcher, who notched his 3000th career win at Gulfstream on Feb. 11, 2012. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Pletcher dominated the trainer’s standings in both victories and purses-won during the 2014-2015 Championship Meet, saddling the winners of 46 races and $3.3 million in purses. In addition to saddling Materiality for his Florida Derby triumph last season, Pletcher enjoyed graded-stakes success with Constitution (Grade 1 Donn Handicap), Mshawish (Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale), Itsaknockout (Grade 2 Fountain of Youth), Commissioner (Grade 3 Skip Away), Sandiva (Grade 3 Suwannee River) and Divine Oath (Grade 3 McKnight).
Liam’s Map, one of 15 stakes winners saddled by Pletcher at Gulfstream last season, captured the Harlan’s Holiday to launch a highly successful 2015 campaign that was fashionably concluded with a dazzling Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) score.