Todd Pletcher named North America’s horseracing trainer of year a record sixth time

Horse racing trainer Todd Pletcher was recognized for his work in 2013 as he was recently named the winner of the Eclipse Award as North America’s trainer of the year. It’s the sixth time he’s taken the award home, which is a new record for the sport. It was the first time the 56-year-old native of Dallas, Texas has been the recipient of the trophy since 2010 and he edged out Hall of Fame trainers Bill Mott and Bob Baffert to do it.

Pletcher was tied for the most Eclipse Awards at five with the late, great Bobby Frankel. The award was created back in 1971 with Pletcher winning his first one in 2004. He also took the honours in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010. Pletcher easily won the most purse earnings for 2013 when his horses brought in a total of $25.2 million. It was the third time during Pletcher’s career that he’s reached the magical $25 million mark and the eighth time in his career that he’s led the field in purse money. Baffert came in second in the category for 2013, but was trailed Pletcher by approximately $10 million.

Pletcher also led trainers in graded stakes victories at 48 while Baffert was also second in that category with 28. Pletcher was the best in Grade 1 wins at 13 and his horses won 24 per cent (224) out of their 946 starts. The horses earned money in 57 per cent of their races. Princess of Sylmar, a three-year-old filly trained by Pletcher, didn’t win anything at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, but the horse had a great year otherwise by winning Grade 1 events at the Beldame, Coaching Club American Oaks, Kentucky Oaks, and Alabama.

Pletcher also won other major races during the year with Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, Verrazano (Wood Memorial, Haskell), Graydar, (Donn Handicap), Havana (Champagne), and Cross Traffic (Whitney Handicap). Other Grade 1 winners for Pletcher included Capo Bastone at the King’s Bishop, We Miss Artie at the Breeders’ Futurity and Overanalyze at the Arkansas Derby.

During the voting process for the Eclipse Award, Pletcher received 183 first-place votes. D. Wayne Lukas received 21 of them while Jerry Hollendorfer had nine, Bill Mott earned seven, Charles LoPresti and Shug McGaughey received half a dozen, Bob Baffert had five, Steve Asmussen received three, Chad Brown and Kathy Ritvo each had a pair and single first-place votes went to Ollie Figgins, David Jacobson, Dale Romans and King Leatherbury.

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