Todd Pletcher Gearing Up For Triple Crown Racing!
Pletcher Enters 29 Colts In Triple Crown Nominations
Todd Pletcher is widely recognized as one of horse racing’s best trainers. The 45 year-old has built a high impact resume’ over the years and doesn’t look like he’s ready to slow down yet as he has 29 nominees in the Triple Crown series. Overall, nominations are down in the early period with 369 against 398 from 2012. The late nomination phase in 2012, which is ten times as expensive, pushed the overall total up to 418 and this year’s totals will surely get a bump further down the road in the process.
The Kentucky Derby and the other two Triple Crown races have yet to be fully conquered by Pletcher, but it’s not for lack of trying. In 2010, with Calvin Borel aboard, Pletcher won the Derby with Super Saver and in 2007 he won the Belmont behind filly Rags to Riches. His career has been on the fast track since winning his first training title at Saratoga in 1998. Since then he has won 20 additional titles at Aqueduct, Belmont, and the aforementioned Saratoga. His volume training and knack for matching his horses to races which exploit their strengths has led him to winning four consecutive Eclipse Awards from 2004 through 2007.
In 2013, Pletcher is on track to have a fantastic Derby Championship Series. Of the 17 Prep Series races, his horses have won five times. Shanghai Bobby leads the way with two wins, including the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, while Overanalyze, Violence, and Revolutionary all check in with one win each. Shanghai Bobby also won the Eclipse Award as the two-year-old of the year and is considered one of the leading contenders for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Currently Pletcher has four horses in the Horse Racing Nations top 10 Derby contenders. Some are beginning to wonder if his embarrassment of riches could backfire in the long run. The new point system is likely to force the best horses to begin facing each other more frequently and it’s possible that having to match up multiple Derby hopefuls against one another could cost him an entry of a really top notch horse. Perhaps he will move one or two of his top contenders to another area of the country to cut out competing against himself. It’s a situation that may not develop, but it will be worth keeping an eye on.
While Shanghai Bobby may be his star colt right now, many analysts and fans are taking to Violence as one of their highest rated Derby contenders. Violence has had a hot start to his career. After winning his maiden affair, he has taken two consecutive stakes races (Nashua, Cash Call Futurity) with the Fountain of Youth Stakes being a potential next destination. It took Revolutionary four tries to win his maiden race, but he only needed one stakes race to take a victory and claim 10 points in the Derby Championship Series, as he made an impressive comeback from the rear of the field to take the Withers Stakes. Derby fans will also want to keep an eye on Verrazano, and up and comer who didn’t race in 2012, but has been impressive in his maiden race as well as in a recent allowance contest.
However the Road to the Derby shakes out, you can bet that Todd Pletcher is going to have some of his colts in the mix for contention. Remember, the colts mentioned above are only five of the 29 Triple Crown entries made by Pletcher, so we are sure to hear his name quite a bit over the next few months.
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