First Kentucky Derby Win for Race Track Industry Program Alum, Todd Pletcher

Todd Pletcher celebrates his victory in the 2010 Kentucky Derby with jockey Calvin Borel | Horsephotos.com/NTRA
Todd Pletcher celebrates his victory in the 2010 Kentucky Derby with jockey Calvin Borel | Horsephotos.com/NTRA

RTIP alum, Todd Pletcher, has made a career of success as a thoroughbred trainer, but the one race that had eluded him, until Saturday, May 1, was the Kentucky Derby.  SUPER SAVER, a 3-year-old colt owned by Winstar Farm, made Todd’s longtime Derby dreams come true when he charged past the finish line under the iconic twin spires of Churchill Downs.

 SUPER SAVER was one of four Pletcher-trained horses in this year’s race. 

A native of Texas, Pletcher got into racing by working as a groom for his father, Jake Pletcher, who raced on the southwest circuit.  During his time at UA, he worked as a groom under the legendary California trainer Charles Whittingham and four-time Derby-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas.  Upon graduation in 1989, Pletcher became an assistant trainer for Lukas, and was instrumental in the conditioning of several of Lukas’s champions in the 1990s.

Pletcher struck out on his own in 1995 and saddled his first winner, Majestic Number, in 1996.  Since that first victory, he has become the Eclipse Award-winning trainer four years in a row, 2004-2007, and set the bar for earnings in a single year.  He is currently fourth on the all-time leading earners list.  He has trained the winners of the Kentucky Oaks, Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes; Breeders’ Cup Sprint, Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Breeders’ Cup Turf; Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, and Woodward Stakes, among many others.  He has trained eight Eclipse champions: English Channel, Fleet Indian, Lawyer Ron, Left Bank, Speightstown, Wait A While, Ashado and Rags To Riches.

Rags To Riches was Pletcher’s first winner of a Triple Crown race.  The filly made history when she won the 2007 Belmont Stakes, the first filly in 102 years to take the mile and a half classic. 

Today, Pletcher has racing stables in New York, Florida and Kentucky and sends his horses around the country to compete at the highest level.

Contact name: 
Betty Prewitt
Contact email: 
bprewitt@ag.arizona.edu
Released date: 
May 20 2010