GET TO KNOW HALL OF FAME TRAINER TODD PLETCHER
June 11, 2020
Victories in nearly every major race in North America have made Todd Pletcher a household name and in just over 20 years his horses have already won more prizemoney than any other trainer in history.
Multiple G1 winner Vino Rosso has contributed to that success having remained unbeaten as a 2-year-old and powering home to win both starts by more than two lengths. As a 3-year-old he claimed the Wood Memorial Stakes by three lengths and then went on to triumph in two G1 features as a 4-year-old.
The first G1 victory came in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes and he farewelled his fans with a triumphant last performance to provide Pletcher with his seventh Breeders’ Cup win outrivalling his field by more than four lengths.
“He was able to win at 2, 3 and 4 and is a classy type of horse which is what the people are looking for,” commended Pletcher on Vino Rosso’s retirement. “He has a great disposition, he’s healthy and sound, and has all the attributes you look for in a stallion.”
These are the words of a legendary trainer who himself has developed a string of achievements that may never be topped. A record seven Eclipse Awards in the past 13 years as the nation’s Trainer of the Year, four of these in consecutive years, 10 Eclipse Award-winning horses and five Triple Crown race victories.
It’s not surprising that Pletcher is renowned for being knowledgeable about every aspect of racing, to the point where he knows every detail about the status of every one of the 175 horses he has in training – a significant increase on the humble six horses he started training with back in 1995.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Pletcher’s grass roots were laid at the age of seven when he worked for his father as a hot walker. Throughout his schooling years he worked with Henry Moreno at Hollywood Park and Del Mar Racetracks, D. Wayne Lukas at Arlington Park and legendary Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham at Hollywood Park.
After graduating from college, he travelled to New York 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 until the fall of 1995 when he went out on his own and made history.