Edited Gulfstream Media Release – Trainer Todd Pletcher has built a rather imposing resume on his way to the Hall of Fame – more than 5200 winners, nearly $420 million in purses, seven Eclipse Awards, three Belmont Stakes winners, two Kentucky Derby champions, 12 Breeders’ Cup successes and countless graded-stakes victories.
Oh, and an unprecedented 18 Championship Meet titles at Gulfstream Park.
The 54-year-old Dallas native will seek to his continue his dominance during the 2021-2022 Championship Meet that will get underway on Friday and run through April 3.
“I think we’re going to start off a little slow. We’ve got a lot of horses in New York still that have a lot of races to run in. With Aqueduct extending their meet into the second week of December for the Remsen, Demoiselle and Cigar Mile. That’s kept us there a little longer this year,” Pletcher said. “We’ll get a little later start with the good portion of the stable at Gulfstream. Hopefully, by the middle of the meet we’ll be at full force.
“Like always, our success at the Championship Meet should depend on how our 2-year-olds-turning-3 do,” he added. “We’ve got some ready to make their debuts in late December and early January. Hopefully, we’ll have some that are able to step up.”
Pletcher has saddled a record six Florida Derby (G1) winners – Known Agenda (2021) Audible (2018), Always Dreaming (2017), Materiality (2015), Constitution (2014) and Scat Daddy (2007).
“We’ve had great fortune in the Florida Derby,” Pletcher said. “Always Dreaming was able to win there and go on to win the [Kentucky] Derby. I really like the spacing of it for the Kentucky Derby.
“Being a Grade 1, it’s a big-time stallion-making race. Look at the success of our Florida Derby winners – with Constitution doing so great at stud and Scat Daddy, who was on his way to being one if not the best stallion in the country. It’s proven over the years, that it means a lot to stallions,” Pletcher added.
“Audible’s babies are off to a great start, also. It’s a race we love to win, not just as a Derby prep but also a stallion-making race as well.”
Pletcher, a former assistant to Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lucas, was inducted into National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in August in his first year of eligibility.
“It was a tremendous honor, really exciting. I was really pleased my parents were able to be there and attend the induction ceremony with my family,” Pletcher said. “It’s a great accomplishment for the entire team. A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to make it happen. I’ve been blessed with great owners, great horses and great teammates and a great support system.”